Sunday, November 25, 2007

Easy Herbal Chicken

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The herbs (are you an "erb" or "herb" person?? I used to say it the American way, "erb" but people didn't understand me, or they correct me...I guess I should say "how-er" instead of "our" for hour but then again will I be let off saying " My 'ouse" instead of " My house"??) used in Chinese cooking are very different from western cooking. Although both western and Chinese herbs are supposedly medicinal, I think Chinese herbs are more so while western herbs are more for flavor.

This is an easy way to do herbal chicken. I like the herbal chicken at DJunction because it tastes good and because they don't use 'glass paper' which to me is another name for plastic. I'm not very knowledgeable about Chinese herbs, and my herbal chicken is very mild. I think it lacks dong gui or something like that. What I do is go to the Chinese herbal shops and point at whatever I want. Do not buy the pre-packaged herbs; they usually have been packed months ago. I don't put dried beetroot because it darkens the sauce too much, but it's really up to you to add whatever you like, like lotus seeds and others. Sometimes I only use wolfberries, red dates, dried longans and yuk juk.

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Starting from 12 to 2 o'clock: red dates, 2 to 3: ??, 4 to 5: ??, 6 to 8: yuk juk, 8 to 11: ?? and 11 to 12: wolfberries. In the middle, dried longans (best if from southern China). Missing: dong gui. I always get my red dates, wolfberries and longans from Hong Kong where they are fresher and of better quality than what's available here.

Easy Herbal Chicken
1 free-range chicken or kampung chicken
Chinese herbs of your choice but must include wolfberries, yuk juk, dried longans and red dates.
2 thin slices of fresh ginger
salt to taste

1. Cut chicken into large pieces and remove the thicker skin if like ( I didn't, for the sake of the picture).
2. Wash herbs twice and soak for 5 min, then rinse again.
3. Put the chicken pieces into a shallow glass casserole dish (like Corning's) and arrange the herbs and ginger around it. Add water upto 2cm or 3/4" high from the bottom of the dish.
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4. Cover dish and set over a medium flame. When it boils, use chopsticks or tongs to move the chicken a bit so skin doesn't stick to dish. Reduce flame to low, stir once in a while so skin wouldn't stick, and simmer until desired softness. It's not necessary to add water because the chicken will give out juice plus you don't want to water-down the essence5. Sprinkle 3/4 t salt (or to your taste) over and mix 1 T cornflour + 2 T water to make a cornstarch solution to thicken the gravy if like. If you, like me, are mindful of the oil, pour the juice out, skim off the oil and return the juice to the dish and then thicken if like. Don't make the gravy too thick though. Serve HOT with plain rice.

12 comments:

Shan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shan said...

I really like the Erbal (I'm one of those) Chicken at DJunction too.

I enjoy the one at Supertanker too. Brought some white people there to makan. Naturally they did not like it. Didn't matter. More for me :)

I'm getting more and more manipulative when it comes to food...what is wrong with me? :P

Greg Wee said...

NEE: If i am not wrong, there is the huai san (yam thingy) and dang shen (type of ginseng). yuk juk is called solomon seal in english. the big piece is huang qi or tian qi or something like that. let me find out. i can imagine myself digging in this dish with a big bowl of rice. yum!

pecan ricotta looks so good. must try one of this day. i can imagine christmas at your house. lots of yummy goodies.

Mandy said...

I have only eaten herbal chicken steamed in aluminium foil in Singapore. Is this the same thing? I would love to replicate it in US!

Precious Pea said...

Yumzzz...can imagine the sweet herbal broth!

Denise said...

Tell me who has eaten the "breast" meat? ! hahahahahhahahah
The Breast meat are so "eyes-catching" & Yummy for me lah! ahhahahahhahahaa

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

shan: :)) u can't get more food manipulative than this: bring them to a bak kut teh dinner n u'll end up eating everything!!

gregwee:soloman seal??! how in the world did they think of tt??
oh, Christmas is wonderful here! last yr linda n some friends were over n we got real wild, dancing singing, acting silly n gorging like pigs. its the season of joy and love n sense of God's goodness...

mandy:yea, i think it's the same...do try it n put up some pics. love ur pics btw!

preciouspea: ya, me too, i go for the sweet broth!

denise: haha, making me laugh again. my mom couldn't fight us n ended up with the breast meat. last sat, we were at MacD (wah, thot i was in saudi arabia! n their women looked like men.Whadde)n wey said "Hmm, i want fried chicken but i'm afraid of the chicken smell.." Like u, he's always complained of the chicken smell. i told him about ur fear too, n he said see, i told u, it's not only me who smelt it!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

denise: btw, my friends n i went to maju for steamboat n we had the yam rice n they said it not only doesn't look as good, it doesn't taste as good as, em, moi's (thick skin huh). it's bc when we cook at home, we use the best while res. scrimp to widen their profit margin.

Denise said...

Let me conclude a thing. Next time, You will get a very good "daughter-in-law" from Wey! know why? cuz we are fussy ppl, we pick the best! and!!! i forgot to tell, few days back I read your comment on hongyi's blog regards to how your boy Wey showed his "grateful" heart by telling u why he couldn't get u ROse at the moment! HAHAhahahhaha... HE IS SOOOO SWEEEEEEEEEEET !!!!! & CUTE in a way! My eyes are flooded when I read that sentence!! really touching la!!!! dont u feel soo Great having such lovely child? haha

Denise said...

HA?? so disappointing oredi the seri maju ? or I should have tasted urs ? HAhahhaahha

eh serious i never know they so 'teruk' oredi la ! see, this is typical KK-restaurant! always can't maintain the standard.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

denise: yes, i love him to bits. everytime i sniff his hair, i think it de-stresses me!about the rose, he was really strange about it. i had scolded him about smthing, his spending too much time watching tv,stuff like tt, when he went to the fridge and took out the ice, then a knife n went to the back n started chipping away at the ice. then he came in while i was blogging, n put an ice-heart into my palm, saying "sorry i couldn't carve a rose. this is all i could make..." it melted my heart...i'm keeping the heart in my fridge.

Smart Payment Plan said...

do the herbs strongly flavor the chicken, or is it subtle? also, do you add salt?

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