Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
This makes a flavorful, home-made hoisin marinade/sauce. I'm sure it could be used for more than just game hens. Naturally, you should adjust the vegetable choices to suit your family. I made extra marinade when I made this to have some for serving. From The Wine Lover's Cookbook by Sid Goldstein. Prep time includes marination time.
- 3 Cornish hens
- 1⁄2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup mirin or 1⁄4 cup sweet sake or 1⁄4 cup riesling wine or 1⁄4 cup other sweet wine
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fermented black beans (rinsed and chopped)
- 2 teaspoons sesame chili oil (I used half sesame oil, half chili oil)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons peeled minced ginger
- 1 cup thinly chopped carrot
- 1⁄2 cup diced celery
- 3⁄4 cup julienned red bell pepper
- 3⁄4 cup julienned yellow bell pepper
- 1⁄2 cup thinly chopped green cabbage
- 8 ounces bok choy, ends trimmed and sliced horizontally
- 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
- 3 tablespoons reduced salt soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Remove neck and giblets from hens and rinse them and pat dry. Halve hens by cutting firmly through the breast and backbone with a sharp knife. Pound each half with the palm of your hand to flatten the hens.
- In a medium saute pan or skillet, combine all marinade ingredients and simmer 7-8 minutes. Cool in refrigerator or freezer. In a large, resealable plastic bag, marinate hens for 2-3 hours. Remove hens from marinade; reserve marinade.
- Prepare a charcoal fire. When coals are very hot but not flaming, spearate them to the sides of the grill so the hens can cook in the middle by indirect heat. The coals should be hot enough to cook for one hour, but not so hot as to burn the honey in the marinade. For a gas grill, heat grill and turn flames to low.
- Place hens on grill skin side down and cook, covered, about 25 minutes, basting with marinade.
- Turn and continue to cook and baste for 20-25 minutes, or till juices run clear (I don't think mine took quite that long).
- Remove from grill and keep warm.
- In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery, peppers, bok choy and five spice powder.
- Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, tossing constantly.
- Add soy sauce, stock and brown sugar and continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes more. Do not overcook.
- To serve, divide vegetables evenly on plates and top with game hen halves.
- If you have marinade left over and want to use it drizzle over the dish, place marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
This was DELICIOUS! I love hoisin sauce, and this homemade version was wonderful. The only problem we had with this recipe was the five spice powder. I don't know if it's just the blend we have, but there was too much licorice (anise) flavor. I think if we made this again, I would either drop the amount to a mere 1/2 teaspoon, or leave it out altogether. We did make a couple of substitutions, but nothing that would have drastically altered the recipe. :) We used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of game hens, and used napa cabbage for the green cabbage (which might be what you intended anyhow). Just so other know, I used about the amount of veggies listed and 5 chicken breasts, and it fed 4 hungry adults and 2 hungry kids (with rice and a salad). Wonderful recipe, thank you for posting! Made for ZWT4.