The key to cooking chicken is to do it very slowly and gently. That way, the juices will all stay within and not lose itself to being a dry papery hunk of meat. Especially so here, the chicken has to be braised tenderly, so that as it cooks, it absorbs as much flavour from the broth as it possibly can, giving you an exquisitely fork-tender and succulent mouthful of poultry goodness.
This depends on how much chicken you’re making, but for about two people, here’s what to do:
- Into a good pot, toss two cloves of garlic, skinned on and smashed once, three cloves, two bits of star anise, a modest stick of cinnamon, a good dash of white pepper, a small pinch of whole black peppercorns, and a crack of sea salt.
- Also, add a teaspoon of pure sesame oil, two tablespoons of light soy sauce and one tablespoon of dark soy sauce.
- Place your chicken parts in and fill the pot with water, so that the poultry is just about half submerged. Turn the hob on to the lowest heat setting. Put the lid on leaving a small gap and let it simmer away gently for about an hour, or slightly longer.
- Toss in carrot batons and mushrooms in the last 5 minutes if you want, and adjust seasoning of broth with sea salt accordingly. If having with hot steamed rice, make sure it’s saltier than usual.
Try this with pork belly.
Pork shoulder fillet braised in garlic, ginger and honey north of carrot and red chilli, served on wilted Chinese leaf.
- In a skillet with some water, make a broth of minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, carrot and red chilli. When the water comes to a boil, incorporate about a tablespoon of honey, depending on how much broth you’ve made. Taste the broth, it should be a sweetish-salty flavour.
- Set in the fillet of pork and braise till done.
- When the pork is almost done, add in the Chinese leaf and remove all once cooked.
I got tired of having fish and potatoes every Friday, so I made a little asian fish stew last night. Mummy used to make it for dinner some Fridays, before we succumbed to the convenience of dining out on the night before the weekend. It’s pleasantly bold, yet ever-so-slightly sour. Braised slowly but surely, in a mildly sweet garlicky dark sauce, the fish sings beautifully with the shrimps. The tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach leaves tosses up a party of textures. Chowed down with extra hot finger chilli and freshly steamed basmati.
- 1 fillet haddock, defrosted completely, cut into large chunks
- 1 tomato, cut into wedges
- 1 brown mushroom, sliced
- 1 white mushroom, sliced
- 1 handful shrimps
- 2 slices ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon black vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 mug water
- sea salt, to taste
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- Get the sauce done first. With a little oil in the pan, in goes the garlic and ginger.
- When fragrant, get the shrimps, tomatoes and mushrooms in.
- Then, the vinegar, soy sauces, sugar and sesame oil.
- Add water to add more volume to sauce. Adjust with sea salt accordingly.
- Finally, when the sauce has reduced slightly, turn the heat down to s simmer and sit the fish pieces gently inside. Baste it well, and flip carefully when it’s half cooked.
- Once the fish is done, turn off the heat.
- Serve atop the baby spinach leaves.
No points for presentation there, but all smiles for the flavour.