Friday, March 7, 2014

Lunch Week 9: Soy Sauce Chicken and Egg with Chinese Broccoli

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Soy Sauce Chicken and Egg with Chinese Broccoli
This week's lunch is a throwback to childhood. Delicious savory chicken thighs slowly cooked in a broth of soy sauce, spices, and herbs. Hard boiled eggs drowned in the still warm sauce to soaked up all that goodness.

Normally, this dish is made with chicken drumsticks on the bone and skin on. The meat actually will retain it's juiciness better that way. But all I had was skinless, boneless chicken thighs so I used that. I really do not recommend using chicken breasts. They'll be much too dry for this preparation.
But do you know what's best about this dish besides the chicken and the egg? It's the leftover soy sauce mixture. Put it in containers and freeze it. You can use it next time again for the same recipe but you can use it as a sauce for rice and/or noodles. It's no ordinary soy sauce. It's now flavored with meat, spices, and some sugar.
In fact, use it with some chicken broth as kind of a dashi for your soupy noodles. It'll be excellent. Trust me.


Recipe below courtesy of Rasa Malaysia

Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

3 chicken leg quarters (about 2 lbs)
2-inch ginger (skin peeled and lightly pounded)
4 cloves garlic (lightly pounded)
2 stalks scallions (cut into 2-inch lengths)
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick (about 2-inch length)
1 dried honey dates (optional)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rose wine (preferred) or Shaoxing wine
3 dashes white pepper powder
4 oz. rock sugar
4 cups water

Ginger and Scallion Dip:

1 oz. ginger (skin peeled, pounded, and finely chopped)
1 scallion (cut into thin rounds)
1/2 heap teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 heap teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil

Method:

To prepare the ginger and scallion dip, place the ginger, scallions, salt, and chicken bouillon powder into a small bowl. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok until it starts to smoke. Pour the oil into the small bowl and blend well. Set aside.

Add all ingredients (except the chicken) into a deep pot and bring it to boil on high heat for 15 minutes. Add the chicken quarters into the pot and boil over high heat for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let the chicken steeped in the soy sauce mixture for a few hours to soak in the flavor. Dish out the chicken quarters, chop into pieces and serve immediately with the dipping sauce. (Soy sauce chicken is usually served cold or at room temperature.)

Cook’s Notes:
1. Some dark soy sauce is darker than others. I used Kimlan dark soy sauce which is not that dark, so I used 1/2 a cup. If you have a very dark soy sauce, you should probably use less.
2. I had the best Dongbo Rou in a Shanghai restaurant and they used dried honey dates to make their soy sauce mixture. Dried honey dates impart delicate and natural sweet taste to soups and stews and widely used in Cantonese cuisine. It’s optional if you don’t have them.
3. Save the soy sauce mix. It’s great for soy sauce eggs. Add a few hard-boiled eggs into the soy sauce mix and steep them overnight and you have some great tasting Chinese soy sauce eggs. You can also use the soy sauce mixture to make soy sauce tofu; deep fry the tofu and soak it with the soy sauce before serving.

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