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Monday, February 20, 2012

Chinese Poached Chicken with Fragrant Ginger Sauce (Hainanese Chicken)

So, to the untrained eye, this just looks like a plain old chicken. And when I was a kid, this chicken was served with a horrible, spicy, pungent sauce that only my mom would like.

Now? This is a fabulously moist and tender chicken with a flavorful, fresh sauce as a complement. Super simple, but really, can it get any better?

I have now come to learn that this type of chicken is called Hainanese Chicken in restaurants. But at home, it was just called boiled chicken.  It was nothing fancy. it was just the way my mom made it.

In fact, my mom used to make this poached chicken all the time when I was a kid. I would eat it plain, but my mom would devour it with tons of sauce and I never really understood why.  I don't quite remember when my opinion changed, but I seem to think that it wasn't very long ago.  But when it did, it was like the discovery of something magical. Clean flavors complimenting the most simply cooked chicken. Enough said.

Chinese Poached Chicken with Fragrant Ginger Sauce
Makes 1 Whole Chicken

1 Whole Chicken
1/2 cup Green Onion, sliced
1 inch Ginger Root, chopped finely
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Pinch Salt
2 tbsp Canola Oil

Fill a large stock pot halfway with water (make sure that the pot will fit a whole chicken and the water is sufficient to cover the chicken). 

Boil the water. Gently put the chicken into the boiling water and make sure water covers chicken completely. Let the water come back to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover the lid and shut off the heat. 

Let the chicken cook (about 1 hour 15 minutes) or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the water and let chicken cool before cutting. (This dish is usually served at room temperature).

 For the sauce, mix the green onion, ginger, garlic and salt in a bowl. Heat the canola oil until it is very hot and pour directly over the onion mixture. Stir and enjoy with the chicken.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds much like the recipe above but a couple of steps simpler and just as good. Won't know until I try.