THIS DELICATE DISH COMES ALIVE WITH A ZINGY DRESSING, WARMING GINGER AND A HINT OF CHILLI
I love the subtle taste and texture of poached chicken. It makes for a different relationship with the accompanying flavours. Here seaweed and ginger give the dish a delicate fragrance and the shallot oil gives length of flavour. Use the stock in a soup with leftover chicken, or toss through noodles with a dressing of lime, sugar, fish sauce, chilli and soy.
WHITE CUT CHICKEN, SEAWEED, GREEN MANGO, SHALLOT OIL Serves: 6 INGREDIENTS
250ml Chinese rice wine 2 bunches green shallots, green ends only
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large knobs ginger, 1 peeled and sliced, 1 peeled and julienned
1.2kg whole chicken
1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
150ml vegetable oil
½ bunch green shallots, pale green/white part, finely chopped
Sesame seaweed salad, available from Asian and specialist grocers
Pickled green mango, to serve
Place rice wine, 1 bunch of shallots, garlic, sliced ginger and 3.5 litres water into a pot that will snugly fit the chicken. Bring to boil, add the chicken and return to boil, then reduce heat to a high simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 mins then remove from heat and stand for 30 mins. Lift chicken from the liquid then plunge into a large bowl of iced water for 15 mins. Drain well then refrigerate for a few hours before using. To make shallot oil, combine the second bunch of shallots, green chilli and vegetable oil in a small pot. Heat until just bearable then remove from heat, blitz until smooth then pass through a fine strainer. Set aside. Remove skin from chicken, remove meat from bones and shred into strips. Combine with ginger julienne, a pinch of salt, chopped shallots, shallot oil, seaweed and mango and toss well to combine.
POACHING IS BEST FOR VERY DELICATE FOODS, SUCH AS EGGS, FISH, WHITE MEAT CHICKEN AND FRUIT. IT IS A VERY HEALTHY COOKING METHOD, BECAUSE LIQUID—NOT FAT—CARRIES THE HEAT INTO THE FOOD.