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2 Cornish Hens, frozen in plastic
1 straight piece of "green" wood about one inch in diamater
4 Tbsp. dry rub
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pinch of salt
3 pinches fresh ground pepper
2 Cloves Garlic
3' of Twine or non coated, natural fiber string
The easiest way to make this recepie is to make your own dry rub at home, and grind the pepper before you hit the trailhead, or use your favorite from the store, just mind the sodium levels.
The morning of your hike, purchase the hens, which usually come frozen and sealed in plastic or remove them from your freezer. Remove any access pckaging (less the vaccum sealed packaging) and place the hens into a zipper sealed oven bag. The frozen hens usually last between 12 and 24 hours depending on the temps you'll be in. You'll be surprised how long these little birds stay frozen. On your hike, watch for any blowdowns that may still be green on your hike. You're going to need some green wood about 2 or 3 feet in length. When you reach camp, be sure to give at least 3 hours for prep & cooking and make sure you are in a fire safe area. As you get into camp, find a recent blowdown and make a spit from the recently downed, yet green wood. With that wood, build a spit above the fire and allow room for adjustments. Once the bird is thawed, remove the packaging and reserve.
Take your olive oil and rub the cavity of the hen, making sure to leave a little extra (about half) for later. Next, pour about half of the rub into the freezer bag, mince and add 1/2 the garlic and add the hen (or two) and then shake it like it ws a marocca !
Just before you place the hens on the spit, place your hand under your crossbar of the spit. If you can hold your hand below the spit for 5 seconds and less than 6 before it gets too hot you're ready to go.
Grab the hen while still inside the bag and manuver it so you can split it with the spit and rest it in your lap, still in the bag. take your twine and tie the legs over the spit, making a notch with your knife in the area where the twine will connect with the spit. Tie a bowline within your notch of the spit. Repeat the process for the front of the bird and repeat if your doing the process for the second bird.
Here comes the fun part! After the bird(s) are on the spit, make sure you rotate the birds every minute or so until they cook all the way through. You may add the rest of the rub by sprinkling over the top of the bird as they rotate, and after about an hour or so you'll have a nice crispy outside. Use your fingers to test the temp. inside the cavity, and with about 10 min. left, drizzle the rest of the olive oil slowly over the bird(s). this will cause the flames to rise and encrust the hens in a nice, crunchy exterior.
Remove from the fire, and double check the "doneness" from the bird and remove as cooked. Be sure to remove any twine and sticks before tearing into the bird.
This main course goes well with catnine tail roots, potatoes, and fiddleheads sauteed in olive oil. After the meal, place the remnants inside your freezer bag and pack out the waste, and enjoy!
Good luck, and hearty camping to ya!