Salt baked cornish hen

Main Dish
5 servings
40 min
2 hours
A very greedy recipe of chicken ideal for a dinner in family. Do not hesitate to redo it at your home.


Number of serving: 5
One Cornish Hen, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

2 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger, lightly smashed

1 spring onion, lightly smashed and cut into 1 1/2 -inch lengths

3 cilantro sprigs, plus additional cilantro leaves for garnish

1 star anise pod

1 tablespoon Rose Dew Liqueur or extra-dry vermouth

4 1/2 pounds sea salt


  • Rub the cavity of the cornish hen with the rice wine and stuff with the ginger, scallions, cilantro sprigs and star anise. Place the cornish hen, breast up, on a rack and brush the outside with the liqueur.
  • Let the chicken stand in a cool, airy place or place in the refridgerator uncovered, until the skin is dry to the touch, about 2 hours. Truss the chicken with string. Wrap the chicken in a single layer of greased parchment paper; bring the ends around and fold them together on top of the breast to secure into a parcel. The cornish hen should be tightly wrapped in a neat parcel.
  • Pour the salt into a large corningware casserole or spun-steel wok that will hold the cornish hen snugly. Turn the heat to moderately high and stir the salt frequently until it is very hot to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  • Carefully pour all but 1 inch of the salt into a heatproof bowl. Set the parcel snuggly on top of the salt, breast up, and cover completely with the reserved hot salt.
  • Cover the corningware casserole, transfer to cook in the microwave on high for 1/2 hour or alternatively, cook on the stovetop on moderate heat for 1 hour.
  • Check for doneness by brushing off the salt and piercing a thigh with a sharp knife. If the juices are still pink, re-cover with salt and continue to cook for another 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Push the salt aside and carefully remove the cornish hen from the parchment paper, try not to tilt the chicken and spill the juices. Set the chicken on a large platter and remove trussing strings. Cut the cornish hen in half or use a cleaver to chop it Chinese-style into bite-size pieces. Serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with cilantro leaves.


Salt Baked Cornish Hen, photo 1Salt Baked Cornish Hen, photo 2


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