Chinese white chicken

Chinese white chicken

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
6
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

I visited China four days after Chairman Mao died. One fifth of the world’s population was in mourning, but as a visitor I was not expected to grieve. Instead my host treated me to many special dishes.

It was fascinating to learn new cooking techniques, especially the method used for white chicken. I was encouraged to chew the bones and enjoy their special flavour. In return, I was asked to show my hosts how to make a chicken sandwich, which they proceeded to eat with chopsticks! Life is full of surprises.

When cooking this dish, don’t be alarmed if the chicken flesh gets a slight pearly pink colour and the bones are a little red in the centre. This is how it should be, and it’s the way the Chinese love it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 size 15 chicken
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
12 cups Chicken stock
or 12 cups chicken water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 extra spring onions, thinly shredded
Green onion dipping sauce

Method

  1. Margaret Fulton Favourites Remove any visible fat from the chicken and wipe with paper towels. Place breast-side down in a large heavy-based saucepan, add 4 of the spring onions, the ginger and salt. Add enough boiling water or stock to just cover the chicken and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken to stand and cool in the liquid for 45 minutes. Drain the cooking liquid and use as stock for other recipes or freeze it.
  2. Prepare a large bowl half-filled with cold water and ice cubes. Remove the chicken from the pan, draining well, particularly any liquid from the cavity. As soon as the chicken is drained, plunge it into the bowl of iced water. Leave for 15 minutes, until cold. Lift the chicken out carefully, drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a plate and rub all over with sesame oil. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate until ready to serve. Using a heavy cleaver, cut the chicken into pieces. Toss together the extra spring onions and coriander leaves and scatter over the chicken. Serve with green onion dipping sauce.
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