Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chicken wine

As previously menioned, my Dad is a fab cook. Yes, he oversalts things slightly and horror of horrors, he does use MSG sometimes in his cooking but there is no denying it. He uses it damn well!

The other night, out of the blue, he called to say he was going to cook dinner. My Mom was going out so it was just him and me eating and what I wanted to eat...his famously juicy stewed pork or chicken wine. Without a doubt, I chose the latter.

This is a deceptively simple dish comprising of no more than 3 ingredients and a lick of salt. A huge knob or two of ginger is peeled and sliced generously and put into a pan with hot oil in it. This is stir-fried until golden, fragrant and just starting to look transparent around the edgest. A whole chopped chicken is put in and given a stir to flavor the meat. Then, once the meat is slightly browned, a cup of rice wine is poured in. This is left to sizzle around and is swirled around until there is only a tablespoon or so left, then about another cup and half of wine is poured in along with a little chicken stock and the lid left on to simmer until done.

The secret is in the wine. My Dad, knowing my obsessiveness with this very Hakka dish (it is prepared a little differently by different people) carries two huge earthenware jugs of it home each time he finds it and begs/pleads with his friends to bring him a jug or two when he knows they'll be visiting the region. I have yet to find the brand of wine but will do so.

The chicken, as always is lovely with rice and steamed baby bok choi.

I had the remainder for lunch today at work. Unfortunately it's noticeable by my incredibly red face. As you can tell, no, the alcohol doesn't all cook off.

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