White-cut chicken with ginger-scallion oil

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(bái qie ji) Adapted from KQED Food and The Woks of Life

Ingredients:

  • 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

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons finely minced scallion (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • soy sauce (optional)

Directions:

  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.”
  4. 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).
  5. 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!

~Jessica

Chinese sausage and chicken rice hot pot

Adapted from Steamy Kitchen‘s but directly from Ming Tsai.

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken thighs with the skin, boned and diced
  • dark soy sauce
  • cane sugar/honey
  • sesame oil
  • scallions, sliced
  • cornstarch
  • ginger, grated
  • 1 lapchang (Chinese sausage), cut in disks
  • 3 cups uncooked Chinese long grain rice, washed until water is clear, drained
  • salt
  • peanut oil
  • 1.4 L chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Combine the chicken, soy, sugar, sesame oil, scallions, cornstarch, ginger and sausage and let marinate refrigerated for at least 15 minutes.
  2. In a clay pot (or something that won’t melt in the oven later), combine the rice, salt and peanut oil.
  3. On high heat, saute briefly on the stovetop then add the stock to Fuji (3-4 cm above the rice). Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until the stock has evaporated to the level of the rice.
  4. Add the chicken mixture, cover and cook in a preheated oven at 175 deg C for 12 – 15 minutes.
  5. Stir well, cover, cook on stovetop at high for only 1 minute then reduce heat to very low. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, then turn heat off.
  6. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

~Jessica

Garlic butter roasted mushrooms

Adapted from smitten kitchen, in turn based on Gourmet’s escargot-style recipe

Ingredients:

  • box of fresh mushrooms, halved lengthwise if large
  • 2 spoons of capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 50 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 50 g vegetable oil
  • splash of fresh lemon juice
  • some chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • crusty bread, to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
  2. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a 1 1/2- to 2-qt shallow baking dish.
  3. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden and bubbly garlic sauce forms below, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and parsley.
  5. Serve immediately, with crusty bread on the side for swiping up the juices.

My all-time favorite appetizer. Mix ingredients in a baking pan and pop it into the oven — so easy!

~Jessica