Cornish Game Hens Slathered in Woodchuck Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Do you know how often we run out of propane for our BBQ grill? All to often let me tell ya!

For some strange reason, we have two tanks as well... not sure why but we do. Both always empty.

I guess that is sign that we put our grill to good use in the summers but once those tanks are empty it takes  weeks to pull our lazy butts out to go fill them.

Ours ran out two weeks ago... this doesn't keep me from "BBQ" though I improvise using my oven. Sometimes that works out just fine.

Like with these Cornish Game Hens! (Though I actually made this two months ago on a rainy day when I didn't want to grill...)

They were perfectly roasted but with the illusion I grilled them. (thanks to some sticky sweet BBQ sauce)

I have a confession I do not make my own BBQ sauce often. We are big fans of Sweet Baby Rays Original. It's the best BBQ sauce sold in the stores... if you want my opinion.

But on a rare occasion I like to whip up a batch of my own. While I'm at it, lets make it interesting?

I've made batches with cherries, with apples, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, beer, whisky.

This time I used what I had on hand. Frozen wild berries and and some Woodchuck Cider!

The color was stunning, the skin was sticky and sweet just like BBQ should be, and the chicken was perfectly moist on the inside!

Cornish Game Hens Slathered in Apple Cider Blueberry BBQ Sauce

For your BBQ Sauce:
(Recipe adapted from Eating Well's Blueberry Bourbon Sauce)  

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup Woodchuck Hard Cider (you can use non alcoholic  cider... or even beer)
2 cups frozen (not thawed) blueberries
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper


In a sauce pan add oil, and onion cook over medium heat until tender. About 4 minutes. Add in garlic and jalapenos continue to cook for about 1 minutes until it is fragrant.

Add in cider, and your hard cider bring to a boil allow it to cook down until almost all the liquid has reduced down. About 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients reduce to a simmer, allow to cook for about 20 minutes siring occasionally until thickened.

Recipe yields 2 cups of sauce.

Allow to cool before slathering on your game hens.

To prepare Your Game hens

4 small Cornish game hens


Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange hens in a large baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slather each with BBQ sauce. Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush with sauce a 2nd time.

Return to oven and roast for an additional 25 minutes or until the juices run clear.



  1. Yum! These cornish hens look finger lickin' good. And the bbq sauce sounds amazing.

  2. This sounds amazing!!!

    I don't make BBQ sauce often either...we, too, are large fans of Sweet Baby Ray' can't get better than that!

  3. Now that is a BBQ sauce...I am loving the blueberries in it!!!!

  4. I love EatingWell they always have such great ideas - and this - with the Woodchuck cider looks awesome!! I'm a huge cider fan, so one for the sauce and one for me please!

  5. I've never done cornish game hens with bbq sauce. Totally inspired! Pinning for future reference. Can't wait to try it :)

    1. This was a first for me as well! I always do a traditional roasted hen.

  6. Wow, this looks great! Really interesting!

  7. Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to dishes using duck or other game birds. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . It would be great if you checked out some of the other links – there are a lot of good ones already. Cheers

  8. Thank you for posting your recipe on this! I was looking for some ideas on the web to make my own blueberry bbq sauce, and that's how I found yours. I ended up putting it on my own food blog, and I featured you in it (hope you don't mind). Here's the link if you'd like to see:

    I enjoyed looking through your other recipes, you have a fantastic food blog! Thank you for sharing with all of us!