May the Fourth be with You! That’s right, #StarWarsDay is on Friday and Solo: A Star Wars Story comes out later this month. To celebrate I wanted to throw together a recipe inspired by Star Wars and the
tastiest cutest creature to emerge from these latest films: the Porg! I want you to know, Disney, you set up this joke. I’m just feeding our inner Chewbacca’s from Star Wars: The Last Jedi by roasting up a recipe for Green Milk-Marinated Porg-ish Game Hen!
Click here to skip to the recipe for Maple-Pistachio Porg-ish Game Hen!
The Adorably Invasive Porg
Alas, Star Wars fans, I’m sure you all know about the creatures that captured our hearts within a single trailer. I consider it a brilliant move on the production’s part to turn the puffins on the Isle of Skellig into big-eyed, beakless balls of squeaky fluff instead of editing them out entirely in post. That said, what you may not have considered is that porgs have the potential to become an invasive species.
We see in Star Wars: The Last Jedi that porgs propagate quickly, build their nests everywhere, eat just about anything, and make a bag of Tribbles look as cute as a sack of moldy potatoes. Professor Tim Blackburn, an invasive species researcher at the Center For Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London, stated in an interview that: “The most likely candidates to become invasive species would be those found around spaceports, as they are most likely to be picked up and transported somewhere new (…) Porgs might decimate some native fish if there were no porg-like predators already present.”
So what I’m saying is that you can save the planet and even the galaxy through learning to cook the sustainable porg.
Green-Milk Marinated Porg-ish Game Hen
Coming up with this recipe probably took far longer than I would’ve liked. Skellig, the film location for The Last Jedi has a delicate, limited ecosystem. There was a monastery there centuries ago, and studies show the monks grew small gardens and possibly raised waterfowl and other small livestock animals. Monastic living usually consisted of a meager, vegetable and grain-based diet. The island’s lack of size and soil quality, however, made growing grains and other large-scale crops impossible. Unfortunately, there’s also not much left in Skellig’s ruins to determine any specifics in regards to food or food preparation.
So with this in mind, I had to take what the film presents as my only reference. Porgs, bi-pedal manatees, and giant eels surround the island of Ahch-To. We see
Mark Hamill Luke Skywalker taking a messy swig of freshly-squeezed green milk from a thala-siren. And we also see Chewbacca roast up a porg in front of its family. I told you, Disney. You set up this joke. You only have yourselves to blame for where I’m going with this.
I decided to marinate cornish game hens in a “green milk” mixture of whole milk and pistachio pudding mix. Does it look disgusting? Yes. Does its result taste amazing? You bet your BB-8’s on a biscuit it does. Milk, unlike most other acid-based marinades, gently tenderizes protein without drying or tightening the muscle tissue. The sugars in dairy caramelize up beautifully when roasting and the pudding mix imparts a sweet pistachio flavor to the meat.
Since Chewbacca’s from the forest planet of Kashyyyk, I thought it reasonable that his cooking style would impart some imported ingredients from home like wroshyr tree sap. So with that thought, I smothered this roast bird with maple syrup and chicken stock glaze. I’m not going to lie, maple and pistachio is a phenomenally tasty flavor combination. I might use maple syrup next time I make baklava to kick it up a notch.
Also if you’d like a little something else to serve at your galactic cookout, I also have a recipe for Zeltros Sliders from Dex’s Diner and Chewbacca’s Wasaka Berry Pudding. The way I see it, food is kind of like the Force. There’s a dark side, a light side, all living things need it, and it brings the galaxy together.
May the Fourth be with you all. I hope you enjoy this recipe. I think you may find it–
Maple-Pistachio Porg-ish Game Hen
Equipment: Gallon-size Ziploc bag, wire whisk, large mixing cup, oven, roasting pan with a rack, stovetop, small saucepan, kitchen twine, pastry brush.
- 2 Cornish game hens, giblets removed.
- 1/2 box pistachio pudding mix
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 large chicken bouillon cube
- kosher salt
At least one day before:
- Slightly loosen the skin from the hens’ bodies and place the whole birds into the Ziploc bag. Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Whisk the milk and pudding mix together with a large pinch of kosher salt in the mixing cup.
- Pour the mixture into the bag and seal it. Refrigerate the bag until you are ready to cook.
An hour and a half before serving:
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Prepare the roasting pan with a layer of aluminum foil and coat the rack with cooking spray.
- Whisk chicken bouillon, water, maple syrup, and two to three pinches of kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and let it reduce for 10 minutes. Turn off the burner and let it sit while you prepare the bird.
- Remove the birds from the marinade and wipe off the excess with paper towels. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Season the birds liberally both inside and out, as well as under the skin with kosher salt. Then tuck the wings under the body and place on the roasting rack. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Brush a layer of maple glaze onto each of the birds and roast in the oven for an hour. Baste the birds with another layer every 15 minutes until you run out.
- Remove the hens from the oven and let rest for 6 minutes.
- Cut the hens in half along the spine and serve.