Ruminations about my lack of free time aside, I have been not missed meat terribly, but there is a Chinese chicken dish - one of my comfort foods - that hangs out in my consciousness, reminding me every so often that 1) the highest quality ingredients can make a simple dish shine and 2) I really like peanut oil. Herewith, the recipe, courtesy of epicurious.com and tinkered with by me.
Poached Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce
- 1 3 1/2-lb. chicken - get the best chicken you can find. Cut up, bone in chicken thighs or breasts work well if the chopping of the whole chicken into pieces is intimidating.
- 6 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh ginger (you can use more or less, depends on how much you like ginger)
- 9 scallions stalks, about a bunch, reserving 6 for the stockpot (again, you can adjust based on your preference)
1. Place the chicken and six whole scallion stalks in a covered stock pot filled with enough salted water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken stand in the cooking liquid until just warm, about a half hour. Drain, reserving the broth for another use (though I can't imagine what...it'll be too weak for a stock...but I'm sure you will have ideas). Discard the scallions.
If you're using thighs or breasts, simmer for 10 minutes and steep for a half hour.
2. In the meantime, mince the ginger and the white and light green parts of the remaining scallions and set aside in a ramekin or small shallow bowl.
3. Cut the chicken into chopstick-ready pieces.
4. Heat the peanut in a small saucepan or small skillet (like an 8" one if you have it, nonstick rocks for this) , and when it is hot and smoking, pour into the ramekin holding the minced scallions and ginger. Add salt to taste. Stir a bit to combine the ingredients.
5. Get your chopsticks and rice - long grain white, brown, whatever works for you. Dip chicken pieces into the sauce. Eat. Enjoy.