I brine the cornish game hens overnight or at least 4 hours) in a mixture of water, kosher salt, sugar, black peppercorns, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and bay leaves.
Pat dry and place butter and sliced smoked sausage under the skin. Rub the hens with butter and season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper or a dry rub.
Into my drum at 325 degrees until they reach an internal temperature of 167 degrees.
The smoked sausage under the skin adds so much flavor and moisture.