This is one of the easiest oriental dish I have ever cooked. The only difficulty is in carving the chicken. The oriental style of bird slicing involves chopping through flesh and bone. This requires a fair deal of heavy-handed work. This is best for authenticity but, those weak-willed amongst you can carve it in a western fashion. On the positive side of things, this will feed five to six people and they will all want you to cook it again and again. I have never tasted it cold. If you prepare it right, neither will you.
The ingredients list is pretty short for something so delicious. Having good chicken stock really helps with the intense flavour. Having a really good chicken helps too.
- 1 good quality chicken
- 500 ml (1 pint) of chicken stock
- 100 ml of dark soy sauce
- 100 ml of light soy sauce
- 100 ml of rice wine
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (any type will do)
- 8 or 10 spring onions
- 5 cm (2 inches) of fresh ginger
- 2 or 3 star anise
- 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
First mix the soy sauces, the rice wine and the sugar. This sets up a couple of pouring shots. If I show you these, it will make the dish look more technical as there is a measure on the side of the jug.
Followed by shot number 2…
Three follows two…
I won’t bore you with the sugar pouring shot but I threw in the sugar and stirred it all in. Next, chop the ginger. There is a lot of it. Slice it fine.
Place the chicken in a big bowl. Mix the ginger and the other marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken.
Cover and leave the chicken to absorb the flavours for a couple of hours, turning the bird every half hour or so. Use the time to build your strength for the chicken slicing to come. The spring onions also need to be sliced. Cut them into 5cm (2 inch) pieces.
Heat some oil in a wok.
Side note on promotional stuff: If you are lucky enough to have had free samples of Donegal Rapeseed Oil sent to you, use this. If not, go out and buy some, its delicious.
Fry the spring onions until they start to go a vibrant green.
Drain and add the chicken (gently) and brown it (also gently) on all sides. Then add the marinade to the wok.
Then add the chicken stock and the star anise. I used three because I love the flavour. It works beautifully with the chicken.
Side note on making your own chicken stock. Do it and freeze it. It will lift your dishes from the ordinary to the very chickeny. This is a good thing.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally, to cook the entire bird. Take it out of the sauce and let it rest for 10 minutes while you make the gravy.
Strain the cooking liquid into another pot and then reduce it by half.
Carve the chicken, oriental style. You can look it up on YouTube if you like. One video shows a chap carving one in 18 seconds. I took a little longer.
Arrange the carved chicken on a serving dish and pour some of the sauce over it.
Serve it with plain rice (to absorb the sauce) and some oriental style veg. I used Irish grown Bok Choi.
I can’t tell you what it would taste like cold. There was none left. I guarantee you’ll have none left either. It’s just too tasty.