Saturday, March 06, 2010

coming up for air

Very hectic week. All of my good intentions for fully utilizing my gym membership have been lurking at the bottom of the priority list. I'm starting to feel a bit like Bullwinkle. "This time for sure!"

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 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)
  • Salt

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'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. 

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