Tasty Cornish game hens are marinated with a sweet and savory Asian sauce, stuffed with a bean thread noodle, pork and vegetable medley and then roasted to juicy perfection in this mouth-watering dish. Say “Goodbye” to plain and boring chicken and “Hello” to this scrumptious dish bursting with Asian flavors and eye-popping appeal. This easy-to-make dish is perfect year-round and can be the main feature for a casual, every-day meal or an elegant dining affair. Give it a try!
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
If hens are frozen, thaw completely before using. Partially frozen hens will increase the roasting time.
The typical roasting time for a Cornish game hen weighing approximately 1 1/4 lbs is about 1 hour. Increase the roasting time accordingly if the hens weigh more. To check to make sure the meat is sufficiently cooked, cut into the leg and the juices should run clear. If juices are pink, roast for awhile longer and then check again. Using an instant-read thermometer, the meat should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be sure to remove the hens from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before roasting to allow the meat to de-chill.
Typically one game hen is served per person but if the hens are larger, they can be split in half.
Refrigerate any uneaten amounts. Stuffed hens can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve again, allow to thaw to room temperature and then bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until hot.
4 Cornish game hens (approximately 1 1/4 lb each)
1/4 cup salt (for washing the hens)
4 garlic cloves (use in Marinade and Stuffing below)
1-inch knub ginger (use in Marinade below)
1 small shallot (use in Marinade and Stuffing below)
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 1/4 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
or 1 tsp 5-spice powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried sweet basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1.75 oz bean thread noodle
4 oz ground pork
3/4 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 small carrot
1 small celery stalk
1/4 small onion
2 oz enoki mushrooms
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Smash the garlic cloves, remove the skin and then mince. Remove the skin from the shallot and then chop. Cut off the skin from the ginger and then mince.
In a measuring cup, add all of the Marinade ingredients and then stir together combining well.
Sprinkle the hens with salt, both front and back sides. Gently rub the salt into the skin. Wash off the salt and each hen by placing under cold running water. Rinse the inside of each bird as well. Use paper towels to dry the outside and inside of the hens completely. Trim off any visible fat and cut-off the tails.
With the breast-side up, brush generous amounts of the marinade on to the chickens. Use a small spatula to separate the skin and breast. Brush more marinade into the two pockets. Flip the hens over and apply more of the marinade to the back side. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the marinade for later. Cover the hens with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. For the best flavor, allow to marinate overnight.
Place the bean thread noodle into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and then toss the noodles to remove any remaining water. Cut noodles into shorter stands using scissors.
In a small bowl, combine the ground pork, chopped shallots, minced garlic, fish sauce and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Allow to marinate while continuing with the next steps.
Peel the carrot and then dice. Cut the celery to the same size as the carrots. Finely chop the onion. Cut-off the root of the enoki mushrooms and discard. Cut the mushroom into thirds.
Heat a pan over Medium High heat and when hot add vegetable oil. Add the ground pork and stir-fry until it’s no longer pink, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and onions, combine together and cook for another 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and bean thread noodle and toss together. Add the oyster sauce and combine. Continue stir-frying for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Let the stuffing cool for 15 minutes.
Remove the hens from the refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place one of the hens upright in a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup stuffing into the body. Use a 16-inch section of string to tie the legs together. Place the hen on a wire baking rack set inside a baking sheet. Repeat the same steps for the remaining hens. Brush on the remaining marinade.
Cover the hens with foil. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
Check to make sure the hens are cooked by cutting into the meat and the juices should run clear or use an instant-read thermometer and it should register at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat the hens with a generous amount of butter. Return the hens to the oven (uncovered) and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes to seal in the juices.
Serve with your favorite sides!
Yields: 4-6 servings
Looking for side dishes to serve with this tasty dish? Check out the following recipes:
Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen
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