Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sometimes, Simplest dishes are the tastest.... One Pot Soy Chicken - Taiwanese Style

Normally, during the week days, I pick up Luke from school after I finish work.  He's a good boy and normally stays at school for 15-30 minutes after school so I can make it through the busy traffic, and he gets to play a bit with his friends.

But that normally means that it's about 4:15 when I get home, and usually I get about 1 hour and half to put dinner on the table, for everyone.  Sometimes, it's a bit harder as Graeme and I love spicy food but the children can only take very plain food.  We have chicken a lot because even the 3 year old Monique can eat it all by herself and she normally likes it as well.  So I always have some really simple and easy recipes for those busy moments. 

This recipe was adapted from a very popular Rice Cooker 3 Cup Chicken recipe from Chinese websites.  The traditional 3 cup chicken was cooked in clay pots, and is a popular Taiwanese dish.  The rice cooker version is quick and easy, but I decided against the rice cooker today, because I need it, for the rice.

2 cloves of garlic
2 onion sliced
1 whole chicken 1.2kg - use free range organic chicken for better flavour
½ cup vegetable oil or canola
2/3 cup soy sauce, half light and half dark
Rice wine – Cantonese style, bit like sake.
1 knob of ginger
1 slice of sliced sugar – or ¼ cup of raw sugar.

Slice the ginger, garlic and 1 onion.
Soak in mixture of soy sauce, oil and rice wine, and place chicken in the sauces, turn and coat all over, marinate for 30 minutes at least.
Fish out the onion and garlic and ginger from marinating sauce and place at the bottom of the pot (or rice cooker), place the second onion there as well.
Add all sauces to pot and add the sugar.
Add chicken and simmer over low heat (use high heat to get the sauces to boiling point and reduce to low heat, for the microwave version, just switch it to cook), turn every 15 minutes till chicken is cooked, normally 40-45 minutes in total.  There should be still plenty of sauce left after cooking, which can be served as gravy on chicken.

Please note the original recipe called for 1 cup soy sauce (light and dark combined), 1 cup oil and 1 cup wine, therefore it's called the 3 cup chicken, however I do find the original recipe called for too much oil and normally there will be some fat coming out of chicken as well.

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