Meaty dinners: easy Peking duck and stuffed glazed cornish hens

Looking for a satiating, flavourful dinner tonight? Try this delectable Peking duck or cornish hen recipe.

Meaty dinners: easy Peking duck and stuffed glazed cornish hens

Easy Peking duckRecipes for traditional Peking duck typically require two days. Boneless duck breasts, now widely available in supermarkets, save time and avoid waste. You only cook as much duck as you need, get plenty of crispy skin and best of all, it only takes a few minutes.

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 15 min

Serves 4

  • 2 boneless, skin-on duck breast halves (about 375 g/3/4 lb)
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 store-bought crêpes
  • 175 ml (3/4 c) hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-cm-thick (1/4-in-thick) strips
  • 2 green onions, cut into 8 pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Score the skin of each duck breast in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Heat an oven-proof medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook until browned, six to eight minutes, pouring off excess fat as needed. Turn the breasts over and cook two minutes longer.
  3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 54° to 57°C (130° to 135°F) for medium-rare. Cover the pan loosely with foil and let stand for three minutes.
  4. Warm the crêpes according to the package directions.
  5. Spread the centre of each crêpe with 22 millilitres (1 1/2 tablespoons) of the hoisin. Top with the cucumbers and green onions. Slice the duck into scant 1/2-centimetre-thick (1/4-inch-thick) slices and arrange over the vegetables. Fold the crêpe over the filling. Serve immediately.

One more notch!

To take the flavour over the top, marinate the duck breasts for a few hours in 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) soy sauce, 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) orange juice and two grams (1/2 teaspoon) Chinese five-spice powder.

Stuffed glazed Cornish hens

Filled with a mushroom and sage bread stuffing, these savoury hens make perfect individual servings for an autumn meal. The glaze couldn't be easier: a jar of apricot preserves brushed over the skin during roasting.

Prep time 20 min

Cook time 1 hr 30 min

Serves 4

  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped celery
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped onion
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 750 ml (3 c) dry bread cubes
  • 1 can (125 g/4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) poultry seasoning
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) rubbed sage
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 to 75 ml (1/4 to 1/3 c) chicken broth
  • 4 Cornish game hens (500 g/1 lb each)
  • 1 jar (350 g/12 oz) apricot preserves, warmed
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the celery and onion in the butter or margarine until tender, about five minutes; remove from heat.
  3. Add the bread, mushrooms, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper and mix well. Toss with enough broth to just moisten.
  4. Stuff the hens with the bread mixture, then tie the drumsticks together with cotton string. Place on a rack in a large shallow baking pan. Cover and bake for one hour.
  5. Remove from the oven and brush with the preserves. Bake, uncovered, until the juices run clear when the hens are pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes longer, basting every 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Garnish the serving platter with rosemary sprigs, if using.

One more notch!

Jazz up the glaze by mixing two grams (1/2 teaspoon) ground ginger and one gram (1/4 teaspoon) grated nutmeg right into the preserves.


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