Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clay Pot Chicken, Chinese Sausage and Rice

This is a slight variation of an earlier posting of this same dish.  A great one pot meal if you are happy to forego the greens.  But if you're like me, leafy greens are an essential item in a Chinese meal.  So, while the chicken and rice is cooking, wok fry any number of excellent Asian green vegetables.  Tonight it's going to be pea vines flash cooked with a little oil and salt.  They are ready as soon as they wilt.  Do not overcook or you'll lose all of the wonderful fresh, green, tender flavor of the vine.


For he clay pot chicken and rice, you will need a clay pot.  If you don't have one, you could do it in a regular pot, like a enamel covered cast iron pot or other braising pot.  But, traditionally, this dish is cooked in small individual clay pots.  I am using one large one.


4 Chicken thighs - deboned, but skin left on
8 Small dried shiitake mushrooms (or 4 large, or 6 medium)
3 Chinese sausages (Lap Cheong), sliced diagonally into 1/4" pieces
2 Cups long grain rice
1 Tbsp finely julienned peeled ginger
1 Garlic clove, minced
Approx 3 Cups chicken stock


Rinse, then soak the mushrooms in hot water until softened.  Do this ahead of time as it takes a bit.  I put them in a tupperware container, put the water in, and put the lid on.  When softened, cut off the stems and slice the mushrooms.


Rinse the rice and drain well.  I put the rice in a sieve and ran cold water over it.  Put the rice in the clay pot and add the sausages and shiitake mushrooms.  


Salt the chicken thighs.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Place the thighs skin side down and cook until skin is crispy and golden brown.  Flip to sear the other side.  The chicken does not need to be and should not be fully cooked.  Remove to drain on paper towels.  Once cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces.  I decided to do the chicken this way for the crispy skin and the flavor it will add to the rice.  


In the same skillet you just cooked the chicken in, add the ginger and garlic clove.  I tossed it in as soon as I took the chicken out and turned the heat off.  Just a quick fry on it to release the aroma of the garlic and ginger.  Add to the rice mixture and stir to combine well.  Then add the chicken stock.  The stock should be about 3/4" above the rice.  Put the pot on the stove and bring the liquid to a boil.  Place the chicken on top, cover the pot, and simmer over very low heat for about 15-18 minutes, or until rice is cooked.   Turn heat off and let sit for another 10 minutes or so.


To make the sauce to pour over the rice:
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Heat everything in a small sauce pan to near boiling.   Pour sauce over rice and garnish with some sliced scallions.
Comfort food.

1 comment:

  1. Yum. And those vines are so underrated. This makes me want to order a clay pot... (Don't tell Tim...)

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