One 3-4 lb. free-range chicken, at room temperature
2 whole scallions, cut into large pieces
5 slices ginger
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons Kosher salt, plus more to season the chicken
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons finely minced scallion (white and light green parts only)
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
soy sauce (optional)
1. Clean the chicken inside and out, removing any innards, rinsing with cold water. Optional: Rub salt liberally inside and out and sit for 1 hour. I didn’t.
2. Fill a large pot with water full enough to cover at least ¾ of the chicken. Bring the water to a boil, and add the smashed ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of salt. Place the chicken in breast side up, cover, and bring to a boil. Switch it to low heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Flip the chicken, cover it and cook on low heat for some more time. Test if the chicken is done, insert a chopstick near the thigh. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. To lift the bird out of the pot, slip 2 chopsticks beneath the wings and lift up. Let cold water run over the chicken for a minute or so “to cool the skin off quickly to give the chicken skin a “crunchy” texture.”
5. Pat the bird dry and rub with the sesame oil. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before cutting — I started cooking late, so I just let it cool as long as it took to make the dipping sauce and boil some potatoes (my carbs for the meal, because I didn’t have a rice cooker).
6. Prepare the dipping sauce by heating the vegetable oil just until it starts to smoke. Pour it over the scallion, ginger, and salt, and mix together. Serve with the chicken immediately.
My friend Peggy highly recommends this recipe for times of sickness — I saved the broth afterwards, and it made a pretty tasty soup! I boiled some rainbow potatoes from Trader Joe’s for 10 minutes in the broth, to make the meal a bit heartier. Stay warm!