Chicken, East Asian

Poached chicken, ginger.

Here, ginger pairs with scallions and sesame oil to make a savory condiment for poached chicken.  Those of you who have eaten Hainanese chicken with rice will recognize its influence.  If you’re interested in making the whole Hainanese dish, check out the “optional” step.
1 whole chicken
kosher salt
dozen or so white peppercorns
3 scallions, white and green, sliced diagonally 2″
4″ ginger, sliced thinly and bruised
6 cloves garlic, smashed
* * * *
3 scallions, minced (white and green)
4 inches ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp white soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp peanut oil

Optional: 2c uncooked long-grain rice, jasmine is especially nice
Chilli-garlic sauce (sambal oelek or similar)
cucumber slices
ginger, peeled and julienned (1/16″)
Scallion, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Place the chicken, peppercorns, scallions, ginger, and garlic in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Add about 1 tbsp salt per 6c water. Bring to a simmer and skim foam continuously. Increase the heat; once the water just comes to the boil, cover and remove from heat. Do not disturb for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the oils in a measuring cup with a lip or a bottle. In a bowl, combine the soy and rice wine vinegar. Drop by drop at first, whisk in the oils until thick; then add more quickly. Stir in the scallions and ginger. Set aside.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and reserve the liquid. Do not attempt to remove by lifting the drumsticks as they will break – lift from the cavity. Remove any bits of ginger, garlic, or scallion clinging to the chicken and discard. When just cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and separate the meat from the bones. Slice large sections 1″ wide or use a meat cleaver to chop bone-in legs into 1″ segments. Alternatively, plunge the whole chicken into a stockpot filled with cold water and ice cubes and then cut up the skin-on chicken before dividing into 1″ sections.

Serve warm or cold with the scallion-ginger sauce.

Optional: For a more substantial dish.

Strain the poaching liquid through a chinois and defat. Season with additional salt if necessary and keep warm at a simmer.

Rinse rice and drain. Saute rice in about 1 tbsp of chicken fat from the poaching liquid; add 2 1/4 c defatted poaching liquid, stir well, and cover. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes until rice is fully cooked. Allow to sit off-heat another 5-10 minutes covered with a kitchen towel.

Serve chicken with rice, cups of hot chicken broth with scallion, cucumbers, chilli-garlic sauce, and scallion-ginger sauce, and julienned ginger.


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