Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Steamed Chicken

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The other day I posted the recipe on how to make a Ginger Scallion Garnish for Steamed Chicken, so it's only appropriate that I show how to make Steamed Chicken. Steamed chicken is a very simple dish to make, and is actually two dishes in one (you'll why later). Although I've used a whole chicken in this recipe, chicken breasts can be used by those who prefer a healthier option. Having said that, the way that I make this already reduces the amount of fat in the chicken. The key to this recipe is to keep the chicken skin on during the cooking process, even if you may remove it later for a healthier dish.

The ingredients are:
  • Whole chicken (3 lb chicken used in my case), or 3 to 4 de-boned chicken breasts WITH the skin
  • 2 thin slices of ginger, chopped finely
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • Optional Ingredients: onion powder, garlic powder
The steps:
  1. Ensure that the chicken is thawed in the refrigerator. You can do so by simply taking it out of the freezer and leaving it overnight in the upper part of the refrigerator.
  2. Place the chicken in a large glass bowl and marinate it first with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of soy sauce. If you'd like to use onion powder and garlic powder for extra flavour, mix 1/4 tsp. of each ingredient together and rub into the skin of the chicken. Lastly, rub the ginger on the skin as well.
  3. Turn the stove on high heat and wait for the water to boil. In my setup, I'm placing the bowl on top of a spacer inside the wok in order to steam. You can use a pot that has a steaming apparatus, or a double boiler, but the key is to have a deep dish to hold the chicken. The deep dish is what collects the flavours that come out of the chicken during the steaming process - and is used to make chicken broth.
  4. Once the water is boiling, place the dish with the chicken in, and let the water reach a strong boil again. As soon as the water begins to boil again, turn the heat to medium-high heat and steam for 20 minutes if you're using chicken breasts. In my case, I'm steaming for 30 minutes since I have a 3 lb chicken.
  5. When the time is up, leave the chicken covered and just let it rest for about 10 minutes. I've found that electric stoves retain heat well, and further cooks the meat, while gas burners lose heat the moment the gas is shut-off. Thus, you may find that if you're using a gas burner that your meat may still require additional cooking time.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the chicken, and break it down to be served. In the case of chicken breasts, if you prefer to have skinless chicken for health reasons, now the skin may be removed. Pour the contents of the dish that held the chicken into a reusable container and let it rest. The chicken fat will rise to the top of the liquid. Place a lid on the container and cool it further in the freezer. This will help the chicken fat congeal at the top of the container to allow you to scoop it out for a very healthy chicken broth concentrate.
  7. Serve the chicken with Ginger Scallion Garnish and retain the chicken broth concentrate for future use in a soup.

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