Anyone who can cook will tell you how easy it is to prepare this dish. All you need is just a few fresh ingredients, pop poultry into broth and cook until it’s ready, RIGHT? But why some came out succulent and some don’t? What’s the secret?
This dish has become a comfort food to many, and they swear they can’t live without this tasty juicy chicken. ( me too! 😛 ) It is also common and easy to cook this dish yet most people just couldn’t seem to be able to serve a succulent chicken out from their kitchen.
“OK! so WHAT’s THE SECRET?” you asked.
Firstly, It’s the method. Not poaching, neither steam nor simmer. I SOAK these babies into hot broth (making sure it’s fully immersed) inside a covered deep pot.
Secondly, the timing. For how long? It depends. The size and also which part of chicken you use, help determines it. A chopstick test will be very helpful, if there’s “blood show” during the test, just bring it back to boil and turn to low heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Then, you will need the right size of deep pot to accommodate the sizes and amount of chicken you need to soak.
Next, if you are using drumsticks, take caution, DON’T ever make a small opening (cut)! I’m sure you’ve heard someone advising you to make a small cut near the joint of drum so that it’ll cook thoroughly and won’t come out bloody. But this will only make the meat tough. Cutting or slicing prior to soaking, causes juice to leak during cooking.
Other than above mentioned, some like their chicken with a jelly-like texture in between the skin and meat. To create that, you may give chicken an ice bath right after you lift them up from the broth. Then keep it in the fridge, for at least 30 minutes before meal time. I usually skip this step, ain’t used to eating cold chicken meat!
Last but not least, how to instill a distinct flavor into the poultry? Pair it with the right ingredient! Boiled cabbage, radish and red carrots, to name a few. I used these ingredients to soak in together with the chicken.
Finally, let the cooked chicken cools a little before chopping it into smaller pieces. You won’t want them to look like they were torn instead.
There you go, the secrets in my chamber have now leaked unconditionally! 😛 Happy Cooking!
For ingredients and detailed method in cooking this dish, you may refer to my recipe here http://jcf00d.com/recipe-items/hainanese-chicken-rice/