Friday, June 15, 2007

China, The Beautiful Cookbook: Stewed Chicken, Li Kou Fu Style

So I'm poking around in a Chinese cookbook, wishing that a Chinese recipe would actually turn out to taste like something other than a poor attempt at authenticity.  And I come across this recipe for a stewed chicken.  Easy enough.  No wok necessary.  And you know what?  This recipe turns out the most delicately flavored chicken I may have ever had.  No overpowering rose flavor.  Not super salty.  Just really delicious in a court-of-the-Chinese-emperor kind of way.

Stewed Chicken, Li Kou Fu Style
From China, The Beautiful Cookbook by Kevin Sinclair

1 (1½-pound) Cornish hen
4 green onions
Cilantro (garnish)

⅔ cup dark mushroom soy sauce
⅓ cup Mei Kuei Lu (rose-scented Chinese rice wine)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of salt

Rinse the chicken and wipe dry. Place the green onions in the cavity and put into a deep, small casserole. Mix the seasoning ingredients together. Pour a little into the cavity, then pour the remainder over the chicken.

Cover the pot tightly and place in a water bath to prevent the chicken from coming into direct contact with the heat and burning. Simmer the chicken very gently until tender, about 1¼ hours, turning once or twice.

Lift out the chicken, cut into serving pieces and arrange on a plate. Pour the sauce over and garnish with cilantro.

Makes 2 servings

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