Dinner For Two

White – Cooked Chicken

Tonight is the last night of a five night, six show run of my daughter’s theatre studies play. She won’t be coming home tonight – after party and ‘sleeping’ over at a friend’s house. It’s been a big week. She has caught a cold and has almost lost her voice but ‘the show must go on.’ She’s been running purely on adrenalin. She’s a tough cookie, my girl!

I’ve cooked all her favourites every night over the past week but she has been too tired to eat them by the time she got home. I’ve had no trouble in keeping my promise to be nice to her all week as I haven’t seen her much. She did manage to have a large bowl of chicken soup today before it was time to leave for her matinee performance and for that I’m thankful. According to facebook, she checked in at Burger Culture with the rest of the cast for dinner and as I type this, she has been onstage for 30 mins…only an hour and a half to go!

So, it’s dinner for two tonight. She would have loved this meal but I have an even better meal planned for her tomorrow night.

Tonight I had a hankering for white – cooked chicken with a soy and ginger sauce. It’s a favourite in our house but I haven’t made it for a very long time. A delicious Chinese meal…served in a Thai style bowl…gotta love mixing ‘genres!’

Ingredients

  • 1 free range chicken
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced spring onion plus extra to garnish
  • ½ teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced ginger plus extra to garnish
  • 60 ml mushroom soy sauce

Stock

  • 6 litres cold water
  • 3 cups shao hsing wine OR dry sherry
  • 8 spring onions trimmed and cut in half crossways
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1¼ cups sliced ginger
  • 1/3 cup sea salt

Method

  1. Rinse chicken under cold water.
  2. Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact.
  3. Lower chicken, breast-side down, into simmering stock, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  4. Poach chicken gently for exactly 14 minutes.
  5. There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary, to ensure stock does not reach simmering point again. Remove stockpot immediately from the stove and allow chicken to steep in the stock for 3-4 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.
  6. Using tongs, gently remove chicken from the stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin.
  7. Place chicken on a tray to drain and allow to cool.
  8. For dressing, combine all ingredients except for peanut oil in a heat-proof bowl. Heat peanut oil in a saucepan, then pour over dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
  9. With a large knife or cleaver, cut up the chicken Chinese, arrange on a platter and drizzle over the dressing.
  10. Garnish with extra spring onions, coriander and ginger. Serve immediately.

Stock

  1. Place all stock ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

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