See you gai (red cooked chicken)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
3½ pounds Roasting chicken
1½ cup Cold water
1½ cup Dark soy sauce
¼ cup Chinese wine or dry sherry
2 \N Inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 \N Clove garlic
10 \N Sections star anise
1½ tablespoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Sesame oil

Here is the second chicken recipe from a really comprehensive and beautiful cookbook, THE COMPLETE ASIAN COOKBOOK by Charmaine Solomon.

"Red cooking" is the term applied to cooking in dark soy sauce. The liquid that remains after cooking is called a "master sauce", and can be frozen or refrigerated for future use. It should be used to cook meat or poultry at least once a week to keep it "alive." Cook chicken drumsticks this way for taking on picnics or serving at buffet parties. Fragrant with ginger and anise, red-cooked chicken will surely become one of your favorites.

Serves: 8 to 10 as part of a large menu, 4-5 as a main meal with rice Wash chicken well. Choose a saucepan into which chicken will just fit so that the soy liquid covers as much of the bird as possible.

Put chicken into saucepan, breast down, then add all the ingredients except sesame oil. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken over, replace lid and simmer 20 minutes, basting breast with liquid every 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and leave covered in the saucepan until cool. Lift chicken out of sauce, put on a serving platter and brush with sesame oil. This gives the chicken a glistening appearance as well as some extra flavor.

Traditionally the chicken is put on a chopping board and cut in two lengthways with a sharp cleaver. Each half is chopped into 1½ inch strips and reassembled in the original shape. If this proves too much of an undertaking, simply carve the chicken into joints. Serve at room temperature with some of the cooking liquid as a dipping sauce.

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