Chicken and rice in a sandy clay plot

Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
Stephen Ceideburg
2 cups Long-grain rice
2¼ cup Cold water
6 Chinese dried black mushrooms
¼ cup Dried lily buds
6 Chicken thighs, preferably with the skin
2 Lean Chinese sausages (about 2 ounces each)
1 tablespoon Peanut or corn oil
4 Garlic cloves, peeled
3 Quarter-sized slices fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon Fermented bean curd (fu yu), mashed (optional)
4 Green onions, including the green tops, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 teaspoon Corn starch
½ cup Chicken stock
2 tablespoons Rice wine or dry sherry
¼ teaspoon White pepper
CHICKEN MARINADE:
1½ tablespoon So sauce
1½ tablespoon Rice wine or dry sherry
½ teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1½ teaspoon Corn starch

For entertaining, this recipe makes a fun presentation when prepared in four individual two-cup clay pots. To season a new sandy clay pot and lid, submerge both in cold water overnight.

Rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. Put rice and water into a 2½ to 3-quart sandy clay pot; set aside.

In 2 separate bowls, cover the mushrooms and lily buds with water until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cut off and discard mushroom stems; cut caps in half. Cut off and discard hard ends of each lily bud; tie each bud into a knot. Set aside.

Using a heavy cleaver, chop the chicken crosswise into 3 pieces cleanly through the skin, meat and bone leaving no jagged chopped bones.

Toss chicken with marinade; set aside for 20 minutes. Cut sausages into thin diagonal slices.

In a preheated wok add oil, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry over medium heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Increase heat to high; add chicken and sausages and stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mashed fermented bean curd to center of wok; toss with chicken mixture. Add mushrooms, lily buds and green onions and stir-fry 30 seconds.

Mix cornstarch with chicken stock, wine and pepper to a smooth mixture. Pour into the wok and stir until sauce thickens, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat.

Place clay pot over medium-high heat. Boil rice and stir with chopsticks to loosen grains. Continue boiling until surface water is absorbed (about 5 minutes). Pour chicken mixture over rice, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, do not remove lid; let sit for 10 minutes longer.

PER SERVING (4 servings): 850 calories, 39 g protein, 84 g carbohydrate, 36 g fat (10 g saturated), 141 mg cholesterol, 777 3 fiber.

Marion Cunningham writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, 10/2/91.

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