Once in a long while, I crave for Chicken and Rice. After almost two weeks of making and eating Pasta and Spaghetti, I decided to steam some rice and boil a whole chicken. Usually, I’d keep about a pound of half a pound of either drumsticks or chicken wings in my freezer for occasions like these, but my new discovered grocery had a whole chicken on sale and I just had to grab it before it flies off the shelves. Furthermore, I promised Iska that I’d make a White Chicken dish just for her; in comparison with the Hainanese Chicken Recipes she had posted for the last couple weeks.
White Chicken is one of the dishes I eagerly crave for besides dimsum and curry with Naan bread. There are just days that I look for any one of those I mentioned and when I do, I really wouldn’t care less if I were by myself eating alone. That has become a norm for how many years now, anyway. I don’t understand why many people stare and scorn at individuals enjoying their meals by themselves. In a big city like Toronto, I have seen many, and I believe these people enjoy the relative ‘peace & quiet’ away from whatever they do for a living. I have done that countless times, and honestly, it’s very comforting. Having a company is a plus, but not mandatory. Thus, I created a Kitchen specially for this one.
Anyway, making the White Chicken is relatively easy. It, however, requires extreme patience on the part of the cook to produce something extraordinarily satisfying and filling meal in the end. This isn’t exactly like Tinola where a good half an hour can produce a decent meal. There are more spices added and aromatics involved and the long wait is crucial to perfecting the dish. The chicken itself is not the end of it all. The enormous amount of broth where the chicken was poached for nearly two hours is a by-product best kept for future use. Normally, I would freeze several containers of the chicken broth and only store a good amount for use in the next few days. Moreover, White Chicken can be turned into Soy Chicken or Fried Chicken later on. This is just the foundation of many other sub-recipes that can be drawn from the White Chicken dish itself. It can be eaten warm or cold, with rice or noodles, and by itself as a snack or appetizer as what many Chinese restaurants do. It’s just so versatile and it can literally feed a thousand if properly portioned and chopped.
1 Whole Chicken
Salt & Ground Black
Wash & rinse the chicken and place it in a stockpot with water. Let it boil and discard the ‘first boil.’ Remove the chicken, rinse the pot and replace with warm water. Place the aromatics and spices into the pot.
Crank the stovetop to high and allow the pot to boil rapidly for about 15-20 minutes. Turn the stovetop off and cover the pot with a saucer or a small plate and allow the chicken to poach for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Remove the plates and gently lift the chicken off the pot using a spider. Leave the chicken in a strainer for another half an hour to drain all the excess liquid in its cavity.
Strain the chicken broth into another stockpot and save for future use.
Cut off the wings and the thighs and legs first and cut the breast in half. Chop into bite size pieces; Chinese Style.
Condiment: to taste
Ginger & Green Onion, minced to a paste
I had some doubts making a Soy Chicken. I don’t particularly know if the Chicken is poached in Soy sauce much like White Chicken, but looking back, if it were done so, the poaching liquid won’t be recycled in the process. Instead, I tried making ‘that sauce’ poured into many Chinese rice dishes as a final shine, and I believe I was successful enough to recreate the taste.
‘That Sauce:’ to taste/Combine & Reduce
Shaoxing Cooking Wine
Light Soy Sauce
Ground Black Pepper
Cornstarch Slurry as a thickening agent