Back on 06/04/10 I did a post on Basic Steamed Chicken. It was a recipe I had utilized for years in terms of preparing a good steamed fowl. That being said, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that may enhance or improve on the original. And that is where this version of steamed chicken comes in. I came across it recently; and I can attest it is far superior to the original recipe. I am not an absolutist in my cooking. If I come across something better, whether it’s given by a friend or other, I own up to it. If it’s an improvement, I’ll say so. It’s a process of growth—even for an old geezer like myself.
This recipe can be done in any steamer contrivance, be it metal or bamboo. Harking to its original method, I utilized a wok in this one. Today, most woks come with a steamer attachment; usually a small rack placed at the bottom of the wok for steaming. If your wok doesn’t have one, they are easy to find in almost any hardware store. Cooking in a wok gives it an Asian pedigree. If you don’t have a steamer then you can use a small 8-ounce can and place it in the bottom of a pot with a cover. Place the chicken in a plate, and atop the can, and follow directions as given for steaming. Enjoy!
For this dish, steamed rice is the usual accompaniment. I served it with brussels sprouts (I had a bunch on hand—as well as the steamed rice).
BASIC STEAMED CHICKEN – REDUX
1 2½ to 3-pound chicken
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup chicken stock or bouillon
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 shallot, peeled and sliced or 2 scallions
2 or 3 slices fresh ginger root (unpeeled)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Parsley for garnish
1. Rinse chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Rub chicken with 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, peanut oil and sesame oil.
3. In a wok with steamer rack, pour chicken stock, sherry, salt (if using), shallot or scallions, and ginger root. Bring to a boil. Place chicken on top of rack, cover wok tightly and steam 35-40 minutes or until tender. Note that if your wok is not large enough to accommodate the chicken, you can slice chicken in half and then place on wok. Same for a bamboo, metal steamer or pot.
4. Remove chicken from wok, set aside. Remove steamer rack. Replace chicken in the liquid left in the pot or wok. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and brown sugar. Cook chicken over medium heat, turning frequently until bird is evenly colored. Let cool. Remove chicken from wok and, with a clever or chef’s knife, cut chicken, bone and all, into into 1½-inch sections. Serve hot or cold, garnished with parsley.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.