This dish of crisp-skinned marinated baby chicken is based on a specialty of the town of Kep, on the Gulf of Thailand.
- 1⁄2 cup mushroom soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (1-lb.) poussins or cornish game hens
- 8 sprigs fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 450°. Combine mushroom soy sauce, oil, and sugar in a small bowl and mix until sugar completely dissolves. Stir in garlic and pepper.
Rinse poussins, then pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Loosen skin of each poussin with your fingers, then rub each, inside and out, with soy mixture and marinate for 30 minutes. Place poussins, breast side down, on a roasting rack set in a medium roasting pan.
Roast poussins, basting occasionally, for 25 minutes. Turn breast side up and continue roasting (and basting) until juices run clear, about 25 minutes more.
Transfer poussins to a serving platter and spoon pan juices over the birds. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs.