Braised chicken drumsticks

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
8 Chicken fryer drumsticks
Cornstarch for dredging
3 cups Oil for deep-frying
1 cup Dried chestnuts
1 Five-spice bouquet (OR
1 tablespoon Five-spice powder)
4 cups Cold water
½ cup Dark soy sauce
½ cup Rock sugar
½ cup Medium sherry
½ teaspoon Salt

This dish is a good example of the whole being greater than the parts.

Preparation:At least 12 hours before cooking this dish, rinse several times then soak dried chestnuts. After soaking, remove pieces of skin wedged in nutmeat.

Deep-frying: In wok or suitable pan, slowly heat deep-frying oil; oil is ready when bubbles quickly form around chopstick held vertically in oil. Meanwhile, dredge drumsticks in cornstarch; shake off excess starch. Deep fry drumsticks 2 at a time until brown, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oil; drain.

Red-cooking: Pour water in sandy pot or comparable casserole dish; add 5-spice bouquet, soy sauce, sherry & salt (5-spice powder can be substituted, though the final flavor will be less distinctive). Slowly bring to boil, reduce heat, cover pot & simmer 15 minutes. Remove cover; discard bouquet; add salt & rock sugar; dissolve rock sugar.

You can stop here until near serving time.

About 30 minutes before serving time, add drumsticks & soaked chest- nuts to hot red-cooked sauce. Simmer in covered pot for 15 minutes; remove cover; simmer for another 15 minutes. Sauce should have re- duced by about ⅓, and become bright & thick.

To serve, prop drumsticks up around sides of sandy pot; spear chest- nuts with sate sticks or long toothpicks.

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