Monday, May 26, 2008

Vietnamese Five-Spice Cornish Hens

This will be the first post in my "Made it, then Ate it" series.

I bought two frozen cornish hens at the Asian Grocery Store, Super 88 and then figured I should do something tasty with them. So here we go. I'm not much of a measuring cook, so the reproducibility may be low, but I think that the flavors are something not easily messed up.

Here is the marinade:
cup of white wine (I used a 5 dollar bottle of Chardonnay, you are supposed to use dry... is that dry?)
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
2 thinly sliced shallots (I ordered 5 shallots from peapod and instead got 5 packets! of organic shallots... i have been cooking with shallots a lot lately)
a thumb length of grated ginger

Whilst mixing up the marinade, cleaver your hens into four pieces, salt each side and place them in a strainer to absorb the saltiness.

Rinse off hens and put them in your big bowl with the marinade and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but best overnight. I did it for about 8 hours.

When done marinating, mix up the following in a big stock pot:
8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
3 squirts Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
some fresh ground pepper

Boil the above, then transfer hens from marinade bowl into stock pot. Boil again, then remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes with cover on to poach your birds.

Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees. Remove bird pieces from the stock pots and dry on paper towels. Transfer to foil lined baking pan. Then pour over both sides of bird bits the following mixture:

juice of 1 lemon
honey, 2 squirts
soy sauce, 2 squirts

Put pan in oven and bake with skin side up for ~ 30 minutes or until golden and crispy looking.

Eat and enjoy!

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