Basic braised chicken

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N Spring chicken
2 \N Scallion stalks
2 \N Or
3 slices Fresh ginger root (up to)
4 tablespoons Oil
3 tablespoons Sherry
½ cup Soy sauce
2 cups Water
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
\N \N Chinese parsley

1. With a cleaver, chop chicken in 1-½ to 2-inch sections. Trim scallion stalk and slice ginger root.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy pan and brown chicken sections quickly.

3. Add sherry, soy sauce, water, salt, scallions and ginger root. Bring to a boil; then simmer, covered, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Add sugar and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes more.

5. Transfer chicken sections to a serving bowl. Strain sauce and pour over.

Garnish with Chinese parsley and serve. VARIATIONS: 1. For the scallions, substitute 2 garlic cloves, crushed. For the water, substitute 2 cups sherry.

2. In step 1, rub chicken sections with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt.

3. In step 1, toss chicken sections in a mixture of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sherry, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon sugar and a dash of pepper. Let stand 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Brown as in step 2, but omit steps 3 and 4. Instead add to chicken 2 cups stock, plus the scallions and ginger root. Bring to a boil; then simmer, covered, 30 to 45 minutes.

4. In step 2, after browning, remove chicken from pan. Heat 1 more tablespoon oil. Then add the scallion stalks, cut in ½ inch sections; the ginger slices, and 1 garlic clove, both crushed. Stir-fry 1 or 2 minutes; then stir in the soy sauce, sherry and water and bring to a boil. Return clicken, add the salt and sugar, and simmer as in steps 3 and 4 above.

5. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, add any of the following: a. 6 eggs, hardboiled and shelled; increase the soy sauce (added in step 3) to ¾ cup.

b. 4 bamboo shoots, cut in 1-inch sections; and 1 teaspoon sugar.

c. 15 to 20 dried black mushrooms (soaked); increase the soy sauce (added in step 3) to ¾ cup.

d. 6 dried black mushrooms (soaked); and 6 Chinese red dates.

e. 1-½ pounds string beans, stemmed and cut in 1-½ inch sections; increase the soy sauce (added in step 3) to ¾ cup.

f. 1 cup celery stalks, cut diagonally in 1-½ inch sections; 1 cup cabbage, shredded; and ½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced.

g. 1 cup dried black mushrooms (soaked); 1 cup bamboo shoots and ½ cup water chestnuts, all sliced. Garnish in step 5 with shredded smoked ham.

6. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add 4 cups Chinese lettuce, cut in 1-inch sections.

7. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 small head cauliflower, broken in flowerets and parboiled.

From <The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook>, ISBN 0-517-65870-4. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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