← Back to Search Results
frying, steaming Chinese
Peking Savory Fried Cornish Hens

Photo by: Mark Shapiro
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

This dish might seem a bit complicated — after all, the chicken is marinated, steamed and then fried — but this time-honored Chinese method of cooking poultry is really quite simple and well worth the effort. The marinating and steaming allow the savory spicing to permeate the flesh of the hens, and the final frying crisps the skin. This method also provides the advantage of being able to steam the hens ahead of time, leaving only the final frying, which takes just a few minutes.

So-called Cornish hens are really just what the French call poussin — immature or spring chickens. They are ideal for this dish, but you can also use regular chicken pieces.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Cornish hens, split in half
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) Chinese rice wine or sake or dry sherry
  • 8 slices ginger root
  • 4 green onions, cut into a few pieces each
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) black peppercorns or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground black pepper
  • 12 Chinese dried lily buds (optional)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cooking oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

Optional Spices

  • 1 tsp (5 ml) Szechuan peppercorns
  • 3 split black cardamom pods  or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cardamom
  • 2 star anise or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground fennel or anise seed
  • 1 3- inch (8 cm) piece cinnamon bark or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground cloves
  • 3 slices nutmeg seed or ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg or
  • 1 ½ tsp (7 ml) five spice powder

Directions

1. Mix all the ingredients except the oil and coriander leaves together in a large bowl; marinate 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.

2. Arrange the hens skin-side up in the bowl in a single layer. Put 2 inches (5 cm) water in a covered pot that can hold the bowl. Place a small bowl (such as a rice or cereal bowl, ramekin or low rimmed plate) in the bottom of the pot, putting a little water in it also, and stand the bowl with the cornish hens on it. Bring the water to a boil, lower to a high simmer and cover the pot. (If you have a steamer, simply place the bowl in the steamer over boiling water.) Steam for 25 minutes. Remove the bowl from the steamer. When cool enough to handle, remove hens from bowl; pick off the whole spices. Strain the liquid in the bowl into a small saucepan and cook down by about half or until slightly thickened, skimming any scum off the surface (keep it warm if you are going to finish the hens immediately). The recipe can be prepared ahead of time up to this point.

3. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the hens, turning once, until the skin is nicely crisped and colored. Reheat the sauce, if necessary, and serve in small sauceplates on the side or in a pool under the cornish hen pieces. Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.

Notes

In a perfect world, one’s spice cabinet would have all the dry spices called for (as options) in this recipe. Use what you have in whatever combinations that please your palate.


© 1997 Andrew Chase
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information does not include optional Chinese dried lily buds or coriander garnish.

796kcal (40%)
41mg (4%)
2mg (4%)
109mcg RAE (4%)
816mg
63mg
58g
0g
0g
1g
339mg (113%)
394mg (16%)
24g (121%)
61g (93%)
3mg (15%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

jacques-torres-a-year-in-chocolate-80-recipes-for-holidays-and-special-occasions Jacques Torres' A Year in C...
by Judith Choate, Jacques Torres
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
the-new-basics-cookbook The New Basics Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins, Julee Rosso
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
american-vegan-kitchen American Vegan Kitchen
by Tamasin Noyes
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
the-mozza-cookbook The Mozza Cookbook
by Nancy Silverton
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
ice-creams-and-sorbets-cool-recipes Ice Creams and Sorbets: Coo...
by Lou Seibert Pappas
baked-new-frontiers-in-baking Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
by Matt Lewis, Renato Poliafito
living-raw-food Living Raw Food
by Sarma Melngailis
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?