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Szechuan-style Cornish Hens

Serves 4
Time 2 hr 50 min
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.
Ingredients
  • 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
Method

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.

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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  • 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