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Crispy Firecracker Game Hens

Crispy Firecracker Game Hens

(Serves 2)

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

¾ cup of rice vinegar or malt vinegar

¼ cup of canola oil

2 tablespoons of kosher salt

2 tablespoons of ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of smoked paprika

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

1-2 tablespoons of sambal oelek chili paste, plus more for serving

2 Cornish game hens, split in half

¼ cup of canola oil, for shallow frying

Limes wedges, for serving


  1. In a food processor, blend the garlic, vinegar, canola oil, salt, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, parsley, and sambal oelek until smooth.

  2. Transfer to a large freezer bag along with the Cornish game hens. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

  3. When ready to cook, remove the game hens from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Let sit uncovered for at least 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  5. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining canola oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, using tongs, place the game hens skin-side down into the skillet. Gently press the hens down with tongs and cook until skin is golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes.

  6. Transfer game hens to a baking sheet skin-side up and roast until cooked through, about 15-17 minutes.

  7. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving with lime wedges and additional sambal oelek. Enjoy!



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