- 4 free-range baby (poussin) chickens or Rock Cornish game hens (about 1 pound each)
- 1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
- Kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon sherry vinegar Kosher salt
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- ½ cup dry sherry
- 2 cups Chicken Stock or 4 cups high quality canned low-sodium chicken broth, reduced to 2 cups
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt
Look no further than this recipe for a reason to purchase a few extra inexpensive cast-iron skillets.
- Butterfly the chicken, removing the backbone and wing tips, but leaving the breastbone. Sprinkle the chickens with the red pepper flakes, ginger, chopped garlic, and fennel seeds. Rub with the oil, cover, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Season the chicken with salt. Heat four large frying pans each with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Place the chickens skin side up in the pans, flatten each one with a weight, and cook halfway through, about 20 minutes. Flip the chickens, replace the weights, and cook until done, about another 20 minutes. The skin should be crispy and golden brown. Transfer the chickens to a cutting board (set one of the pans aside) and remove the breastbones. Transfer the chickens to a plate, skin side up.
- Sauté the ginger, garlic, and sliced shallots in the reserved pan over medium heat, adding an additional tablespoon of oil if necessary, until tender, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and cook at a simmer until it has reduced by three-quarters, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the stock and cook until it has reduced by two-thirds, about 30 minutes. Whisk in the butter and season with the vinegar and salt.
- Make a pool of sauce on one side of each of four warm plates. Set the chicken atop the sauce so it rests half on, half off the sauce (you’ve worked hard for the crispy skin, so don’t drown it in sauce). Serve immediately.