This is my version of Chinese fried chicken. It is one of those dishes that are so simple to make yet so delicious. It has no flour nor breading so the skin is all toasted and crisp while the meat is succulent and flavourful.
We all love fried chicken and this one has a very different flavour from our usual chicken. Garlic, ginger and five spice seasons the parboiling liquid for the chicken. Pre-cooking in a flavoured liquid not only speeds up the cooking process but also makes the chicken absorb all the seasonings. The chicken is basted with a sweet marinade before roasting.
I prefer roasting because, although the skin doesn't crisp, it intensifies the flavour of the meat and caramelizes the seasonings on the skin. Both ways is equally delicious. Toasted Szechuan peppercorns and salt provides an interesting dip that accentuates the taste of the chicken.
1 medium chicken
1/4 c. light soy sauce
2 tbsps. dark soy sauce
2 tsps. salt
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2" x 2" piece of ginger, sliced
1 tsp. five spice powder
3 c. water
2 tbsps. honey
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. five spice powder
2 tbsps. dry sherry or Chinese wine
1 tsp. sesame oil
Boil the water with all of the other boiling ingredients, except for the chicken, for five minutes.
Split the chicken into two pieces, lengthwise.
Immerse the chicken in the liquid and top up with enough water, if needed, to reach the sides of the chicken.
Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for five minutes on each side. The heat has to be very low to ensure that the chicken will be tender. Lift the pieces of chicken onto a flat dish.
Mix all of the marinade ingredients and baste the chicken with it.
If frying, let the chicken surface dry before immersing in hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat until done (about 20 minutes).
Or roast in a preheated oven (350° F/180° C) for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally with the drippings. When done, let rest for 10 minutes before chopping into portions. Serve with Szechuan pepper and salt dip or chilli oil.
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