This superb recipe for Cornish hens calls for mildly spicy, aromatic Szechuan pepper, sometimes known as Chinese pepper. If you can’t find it, you can substitute ground pink peppercorns and a pinch of allspice. Ask your butcher to split the hens for you, or do it yourself: With kitchen shears, cut down around each side of the backbone of a hen and remove it, then use a heavy knife to split the breast bone.
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sherry
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
- crushed red chile flakes
- 2 Cornish hens split
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
Combine soy, sherry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, Szechuan pepper and red chile flakes in a small bowl. Place the hens in a large bowl or a large zip-close bag and pour the marinade over them. Toss to coat and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat canola oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Remove hens from marinade; discard marinade. Add hens to the skillet and brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Place hens skin-side up and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the hens are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
Per serving: 420 calories (250 from fat), 28g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 170mg cholesterol, 1140mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates (1g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 30g protein.
Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember - we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information.
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