My Asian-inspired meal all started at the grocery store yesterday, where I bought fresh-made California rolls on sale.
I had taken a Cornish hen out of the freezer for dinner and wanted to try a new recipe, I just didn’t know which one yet. I found several different recipes for the hen online, but one stuck out, Oriental Grilled Cornish Hens at Cooks.com. Perfect, an Asian Cornish hen recipe for dinner to go along with the California rolls appetizer.
I also planned on making brown rice, so once again I headed to the internet for an idea and found a Basic Recipe for Fried Rice.
The veggie I had chosen was asparagus. I decided to grill it in a pan with an Asian seasoning I had recently purchased.
First, the cornish hen recipe from Cooks.com.
Oriental Grilled Cornish Hens – (Serves 4)4 Rock Cornish hens (approx. 1 1/2 lbs. each)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
3/4 c. soy sauce
4 tbsp. peanut oil
Split cornish hens in half using poultry or kitchen knife; set aside.
Combine garlic, soy sauce, peanut oil, ginger and 1/4 cup water in large shallow baking dish. Add hens and marinate at least 1/2 hour, turning occasionally.
Grill hens turning and basting with marinade frequently. Cook about 30 minutes or until tender and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Reserve remaining marinade for dipping sauce. Serves 4.
Now for the tweaks I made in the recipe…
I cut the recipe in half because I was only cooking 1 hen. The original recipe called for grilling the hen, but I decided to cook it in the oven. I did not have fresh garlic (forgot to buy it at the grocery store), so I had to use garlic powder. The good news was that I had fresh ginger (but you can use ground ginger if you don’t have fresh) and I had soy sauce and peanut oil.
I rinsed the hen and patted it dry. Then I cut the hen down the center.
Since I didn’t have fresh garlic, I had to figure out how much garlic powder was equivalent to a clove of garlic. Ah-ha, I found the answer on the internet (where else). An approximate measurement is 1/8 tsp garlic power = 1 fresh small clove, which is what I used in my recipe. If you don’t have fresh ginger, the conversion for ground ginger is 1/2 tsp ground ginger = 1 tsp fresh chopped.
You might like to bookmark the site, Ingredient Equivalents. It may come in handy someday.
I used low sodium soy sauce because that’s what I had on hand.
I poured all of the ingredients into a shallow baking dish and marinated the chicken halves for approximately 45 minutes in the refrigerator, turning them several times every so often.
Instead of grilling the hen, I roasted it in the oven. In a conventional oven, I would say to cook the hen for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees F, basting occasionally. Just make sure it’s cooked through and the skin is crispy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The recipe says to use the left over marinade for dipping. Well, that marinade had raw poultry sitting in it for 45 minutes, so there was no way I was going to use it for dipping. To remedy that, I put the left over marinade in a small pot and boiled it (about 5 mins). It cooked down a little and made a perfect dipping sauce, minus the bacteria.
Now for the rice from About.com:
Basic Fried Rice Ingredients – (Serves 4-6)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed
4 cups previously cooked rice, at least 1 day old
1 – 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or oyster sauce as desired
Wash and finely chop the green onion. Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.
Heat a wok or frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly scrambled but not too dry. Remove the eggs and clean out the pan.
When the rice is heated through, add the scrambled egg back into the pan. Mix thoroughly. Stir in the green onion. Serve hot.
I used only 3 cups of cooked brown rice. The recipe calls for 1-day old rice. I cooked my rice on the same day I made the recipe and it was fine.
The recipe says you can use either soy sauce or oyster sauce. I used low sodium soy sauce. I also used peanut oil. There are lots of rice leftovers for another meal.
Finally, my asparagus recipe:
Rinse the asparagus (I used 8 large stalks), pat dry and break off the woody ends.
Lay the asparagus in a dish and generously drizzle oil (I used peanut) over the asparagus.
Sprinkle with as much seasoning as you like (I used Simply Asian, Sweet Asian Garlic) over the top and toss asparagus to coat.
Heat a pan over medium heat and cook asparagus until tender.
Toss asparagus occasionally in the pan and check it with a fork for tenderness. Do not overcook or it will get mushy.
These were all new recipes for me and we were pleasantly surprised. The hen was delicious…tender and tasty, and the skin crispy. Use the dipping sauce for extra flavor. The fried rice turned out wonderful and you can add extra soy sauce to taste if you like it a little more moist. The grilled asparagus tasted great with the Asian seasoning, which was a nice change from steamed. If you don’t have an Asian seasoning, any veggie seasoning would do. Try one of the McCormick Grill Mates or Weber seasoning mixes.
Hubby told me I can definitely make this meal again, and I certainly will. If you don’t have a Cornish hen, I wouldn’t hesitate to use chicken pieces or a small whole chicken cut in half. Of course, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time.
If you decide to give it a go, drop me a line and let me know what you think.