- Portion size 8 servings
With kitchen shears, cut wing tips off hens' wings at first joint. Cut along both sides of backbone; press hens to flatten. Cut each in half along centre of breastbone. Place in large bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk together stout, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cloves and hot pepper sauce. Pour over hens; turn to distribute marinade evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning hens occasionally. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Remove hens from marinade, reserving marinade. Pat hens dry; place skin side up on greased grill over medium heat. Close lid and grill for 15 minutes; turn hens skin side down. Reduce heat to medium-low and grill until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with sharp knife, 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent burning.
Meanwhile, pour reserved marinade into small saucepan. Stir in dates, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and molasses. Bring to boil, stirring often, reduce heat to simmer until sauce is thickened and reduced to 2 cups (500 mL), about 20 minutes. Reserve about half for dipping sauce.
Brush one side of hens with sauce; turn and grill for about 5 minutes to glaze. Repeat with second side and remaining sauce. Grill until crusty and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Serve with remaining dipping sauce.