Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cooking: Steamed Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

Chicken is my most favorite meat to eat. I grew up eating a lot of it. My favorite piece is definitely the thigh. The whole thigh, bone in, skin on. So why wouldn't I prepare what I think if the best part of the chicken for Lunar New Year? I mean technically you can use the breast with this recipe but why would you? If anything, make a whole chicken instead.


I placed four whole chicken thighs in a pan with fairly high sides. The chicken will release a lot of juice and oil so you'll need the pan to catch all of that. Season lightly with salt and white pepper.
Then into the steamer it went with a thermometer stuck in one. Make sure the plate is smaller than your steamer basket. I use a bamboo steamer. The steam needs to actually come up the side of the plate. You do not want the plate to be snug in there. I steamed the chicken for 45 minutes until the thermometer read 180oF.
Remove the chicken from the steamer and let cool until ready to handle with your hands. To chop up the pieces into smaller more manageable bites, I used my new cleaver and hacked away. I was a bit nervous at first but I got the hang of it after a while. Each whole thigh produced about 3-4 pieces.

Now I would be just happy to eat the chicken as is with its tender, juicy sweet meat. But most people like a bit more flavor. So traditionally this chicken is served with ginger scallion sauce. I grated the ginger finely using my microplane and then chopped up the green parts of a scallion. Some salt and cooked oil tops the dipping sauce. Then let it marinate. Oh yes, this gets better over time. It also stores really well in the refrigerator if you feel like making a bigger batch.

Steamed Chicken Thighs with Ginger Scallion Sauce
Makes 4-6 Servings
Ingredients
4 whole bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
Finely grained salt
White pepper
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil

1 inch knob of ginger
3 scallions
1 1/2 tsp finely grained salt
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

Directions
For the Chicken
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
2. Place chicken thighs in one layer in pan. Season with salt, white pepper, and oil. Rub into chicken thoroughly. Place thermometer into chicken meat avoiding any bones.
3. Place pan into steamer and cook for about 45 minutes until thermometer reads 180oF. Remove from steamer and let cool until ready to handle. Using a cleaver or other heavy knife, chop each chicken thigh into 3-4 pieces. Chicken may be served as is or with ginger scallion sauce.

For the Ginger Scallion Sauce
1. Grate ginger using a microplane. You should have about 3 tbsps. Set aside in heat proof bowl. Finely chop scallion using mainly the green parts. Place in bowl with ginger. Add salt.
2. In a pan, heat up oil until almost smoking. Remove from heat and slowly pour over ginger scallion mixture. Mix well until incorporated.
*Sauce may be served immediately or store in air tight jar in the refrigerator.

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