Shanghai red-cooked chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
3½ pounds Whole frying chicken
½ cup Dark soy sauce
1½ cup Vegetable oil for braising
2 tablespoons Peanut oil for stewing
4 \N Green onions
½ teaspoon Minced fresh ginger
4 cups Water
½ cup Medium sherry
½ cup Thin soy sauce
1 \N Clove star anise
1 teaspoon Salt
3 \N Lumps rock sugar
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
\N \N Cornstarch paste

If serving more people, get more chickens. Chickens should not exceed about 4 lbs. each. Marinating: Wash chicken thoroughly under cool water: dry. Cut off fat pockets around cavity opening. Place chicken in snug bowl. Brush or rub dark soy sauce into skin; let stand in bowl for 30 minutes; repeat brushing several times. Remove from bowl. Braising: In wok heat oil for braising under medium high flame. When oil is hot, but not smoking, quickly lower chicken into oil. Protect yourself against splattering oil by holding wok lid over wok; don't actually cover it. Using large spoon, baste chicken with hot oil, & turn once or twice so skin browns evenly (about 10-15 minutes). Carefully remove chicken from wok, trying not to break skin. Stewing: Chop green onions into 2" sections. Heat peanut oil in heavy pot or dutch oven, in which chicken will fit snugly.

When oil is hot, add green onions & ginger. Saute until onions are lightly brown. Add water, sherry, thin soy, star anise & salt. Bring mixture to boil. While liquid is heating, loosely tie legs of chicken together with a piece of twine. Lower chicken into boiling liquid. Bring liquid to boil again, then reduce heat for very slow simmer. Chicken should actually be floating free in liquid. Cover & simmer for about 1 hour or until chicken is very tender. Leave chicken in covered pot until 5 minutes before serving. Then remove it carefully to serving platter; remove twine. Remove all but 1 cup of liquid from pot (including onion pieces). Bring liquid to boil; thicken slightly with cornstarch paste; glaze with sesame oil. Pour sauce over chicken & serve. Serves 4

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