Chinese New Year is approaching again. At around this time, grandma will start preparing food for reunion dinner. She will salt and steam a huge chicken, before freezing it for later use. Saves time she says, when she knows that the chicken is ready for re-heating.
Simplicity is the key to a good steam chicken. I haven’t master the art of chopping chicken into even sized pieces, hence I like to keep things simple and use drumsticks.
One thing I learned though, that the meat is far more juicy and moist if steamed with on-the bone. If it is a fillet or cutlet boneless, it’s not as moist.
Ah.. what about the gravy! You can’t forget the gravy. Sweet goodness from the chicken + marinate. Goes so well with rice, don’t you think?
Steamed Chicken (serves 4)
6 chicken drumsticks, skinned
6-7 tablespoons of hua tiao jiu
salt and more salt
several pieces of ginger
Marinate chicken with salt for about 30 minutes. Be quite liberal about it-remember you are not eating the salt, it’s just to tenderize + draw out flavor.
Rinse and pat each drumstick with paper towels. Using your hands, coat chicken with the hua tiao jui (a kind of wine), sesame oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on heat proof plate with the sauces. Place slices of ginger over it.
Steam on high for about 15 minutes and lower heat. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Switch off the fire and let the chicken stay in its sauna for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve with the gravy + some killer chili sauce. Natural goodness- you can’t beat that!