Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chinese Steamed or Braised Chicken

Sometimes I joke around that if I were to base my past life on food preference, I couldn't decide if I were italian... thai... or chinese.

I have a favorite dish that to my knowledge is chinese given it has garlic...ginger and chinese chorizo (referred to by my parents as chorizo macau.) This is also the dried, cured sausage bits I see in yang chow rice. Sometimes the cooking method I do is steam, like you would with dimsum or braise in a clay pot. And eat it with steaming hot rice. Yum.

It's been raining non-stop in Manila and this lists as one of my comfort food. I like the tender chicken bits...chewy, sweet mushrooms and the salty bite of the chorizo. For me, this should go with steamed or blanched bokchoy, which they also call at the supermarket as chinese pechay. (Not to be mistaken with pechay baguio).

1 thumb size ginger, sliced
3 segments of garlic, sliced
1-2 pcs chorizo macao, sliced
1 c mushrooms (buttons, shitake, or dried mushrooms soaked in warm water and sliced)
1 spring chicken cut into pieces
1 T oyster sauce
2-3 tsp soy sauce
pepper to taste
2 t chives, chopped

Marinade chicken in oyster sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
Heat pan thoroughly, add 1 T oil and add chorizo macau until you render the fat a bit. Add ginger and garlic and stir fry. Keep the heat at medium so as not to burn the garlic. Burnt garlic is bitter.
Add chicken pieces and stir fry till the meat turns from pink to opaque white. Sprinkle with pepper.

Option 1: Transfer to a container and steam like dimsum. About 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
Option 2 is to put in a clay pot, put the cover and cook over low heat. (Chinese clay pots can be cooked over fire.) Add a little water to add moisture and prevent chicken from drying out.
Sprinkle with chop chives before serving.

This is also great served as rice topping and let the sauce and juices drizzle down the rice to soak up all the flavors!
I find that the chorizo macau, mushrooms already pack a lot of flavor so if at all, have soy sauce ready on the side. Chili paste or dried chili flakes for chili heads give it a nice kick,too.

It's oriental night--so bring out the chopsticks!
(A friend reminded me that a dash of sesame oil to top it off--gives that aroma, that is distinctly oriental. I agree!)

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