Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cooking: Black Bean Garlic Chicken

Black bean and garlic is another very versatile sauce. You an use it on chicken or pork. I hardly see it on beef but I suppose you can do that too. Not seafood though. It's probably too robust and would destroy the delicate ocean flavors. Anyway, continue to read to see my step by step instructions on how to make this classic Chinese dish.

First, the black beans. I like to use whole fermented black beans. These suckers are preserved and really salty. A little goes a long way.
Soak the beans in hot water until reconstituted, about 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and pat dry.
Then chop it up really finely until almost paste-like.
Chop up a ton of garlic too. This is a strong flavored dish. Since the beans are so robust, you need something equally strong like garlic to pair with it.
I actually like to use a combo of the dried beans and the sauce in my dish. Using the premade sauce allows the protein to marinate better..
Everyone into the pool! Mix the chopped beans, garlic, and sauce, soy sauce, and oil together in a bowl.
Then add it into a ziplock bag with your protein. Here I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Marinate overnight for the best flavor.
Remove chicken from bag and cook in pan on medium heat until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. This time, we experimented and used the grill. It was a great success! The sauce caramelized in spots and created a sweet savory flavor. The chicken probably took about 7 minutes on each side.
I love black bean garlic chicken. I grew eating this at home all the time along with black bean garlic spare ribs. Just that, some veggies over white rice and we were one happy family.

Black Bean Garlic Chicken
Makes 15-20 servings
20 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 tbsp dried fermented black beans
1/2 cup boiling water
2 bulbs garlic
6 tbsp black bean garlic sauce
1/2 dark soy sauce
1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil

1. Soak black beans in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse, and pat dry. Mince finely.
2. Peel and mince garlic.
3. Place all ingredients in a plastic bag or large pan. Mix well. Marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Heat pan medium heat. If you're using a grill, place burners on medium but use indirect heat when cooking. Add chicken in batches. Cook each side for about 7 1/2 minutes, flip and repeat. Use an instant thermometer to make sure chicken is cooked through. Plate and serve while hot. This is best eaten with white rice.

*If using bone-in chicken, cooking time may vary.

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