Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Soy Sauce Chicken

I still have lots of posts left over from the moving/no internet period, but I'm having trouble posting them because I can't seem to find any of the recipes. All of my recipe books have disappeared on me! I'll keep looking for them, but I've decided to not delay posting until I find the recipes just for the sake of keeping things in date order. I like keeping things in order quite a bit.

Anyway, taking things completely out of sequence, I made this chicken for dinner tonight. I bought Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking a few weeks ago. I loved so many recipes in the book I was tempted to try something similar to Sarah's blog Sarah Discovers How to Eat and cook my way through the entire book. There were a few problems with that though, namely that DD doesn't like soup, pork, lamb or seafood. I've amended my goal to just try and cook my way through the beef and chicken sections of the book. We'll see how that goes ;-)

This recipe is simply chicken poached in a deep rich brilliantly scented stock which, according to Kylie, is similar to the stock used to cook the chickens sold at Chinese barbecue shops. The flavour was lovely, fragrant with the soy and shao hsing wine and ginger and star anise. The chicken stayed lovely and moist and went perfectly with some steamed rice.

Kylie says that you can reuse the stock, too. Just strain it well and keep it in the freezer. Apparently it becomes richer and deeper each time it's used. Finding a freezer-safe airtight container to keep it in was a challenge though. That's what I get for buying all my plastic stuff from Ikea.

Soy Sauce Chicken
Adapted from "Simple Chinese Cooking" by Kylie Kwong.

400g chicken stir fry strips

Red Master Stock

3/4 cup shao hsing wine
3/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup ginger slices
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut in half crossways
1/2 tsp sesame oil
5 star anise
2 cinnamon quills
4 strips fresh orange zest

Combine all the stock ingredients in a large saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Reduce the heat even further and add the chicken. Poach for 14 minutes but be careful with the heat - Kylie says that no more than an occasional ripple should break the surface. The stock should not be allowed to come to a simmer again.

Remove the chicken pieces and strain the stock. I found it easier to strain the stock first and then remove the chicken pieces. Serve over steamed rice with a small amount of stock spooned over.

Note: I really butchered this recipe to turn it into an easy weeknight meal. Ideally, it should be prepared with a whole chicken and the chicken should be allowed to steep in the stock for 3 hours after the 14 minutes of poach time. This allows the chicken to finish cooking. Since my stir fry strips didn't need as much cooking time as a whole chicken (and I was hungry), I skipped this bit.

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