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Mains

Glazed cornish hens

Two hours before the Chinese New Year party they were hosting last year, Leeann and Katie Chin stopped at a red light on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and were reviewing the menu for the evening. To begin with, firecracker shrimp, chicken ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Serves 4
  • 4 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) Cornish game hens
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, sliced

Step 1Remove the excess fat from the game hens. Wash the hens in cold running water; drain.

Step 2Bring the soy sauce, water, wine, sugar, star anise and ginger to boil in a 3-quart saucepan. The saucepan should be large enough to hold 2 hens, side by side, on the bottom.

Step 3Add the hens and return the sauce to boiling. Turn the hens over, being careful not to break the skin (it looks best unbroken). Return to boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil too hard or the skin on the hens will break. Turn the hens over and cook another 10 to 15 minutes; check to see if they're done by removing one from the pan and wiggling the leg. If it wiggles easily, they're done. Remove the hens carefully; keep warm.

Step 4Repeat with the remaining hens. Cut each hen into halves and serve warm.

Note: Leeann prepared the hens earlier in the day and then deep-fried them in oil just prior to dinner to heat through. This has the added benefit of making the skin shiny and crisp. You can store the soy sauce mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks and use it again. Use leftovers for a quick salad or flavorful sandwich.
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