One of the standard dishes in Cantonese and American Chinese cuisine is soy sauced chicken. It’s facility for easy cooking makes it a very popular entrée. In the traditional preparation all you need is chicken, usually cooked whole, soy sauce, sugar, scallions and (sometimes) sesame oil. The cooked whole chicken is then cooled and cut into bite-sized pieces.
In my family, we’ve evolved another way of cooking this dish—the Nuyorican way. First of all, we cut up the chicken and season it with spices native to our palette. It makes for a slightly different dish from the traditional norm, but just as tasty and enticing. Served over plain steam rice or (if you wish) buckwheat noodles, it’s a great main course.
SOY SAUCED CHICKEN
1 fryer chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds, cut into serving pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water or dry white wine
2 tablespoons honey
4 stalks scallions, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place chicken in a bowl with the garlic, pepper, oregano. Rub seasoning well into chicken pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Mix well to combine. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. In a wok or pan (I prefer cast-iron), add water or wine, scallions and honey. Add the chicken. Cover and cook on medium heat. The heat should be strong enough to bring the mixture to a boil, bubbling around and over the chicken but not too strong as to evaporate the liquid too quickly.
4. Turn the chicken pieces 2-3 times. If sauce gets too little in quantity, add no more than 2 tablespoons additional water (or wine).
5. After 25 minutes, pierce chicken with a knife or fork. If no pink juice comes out, the chicken is done.
6. Remove from heat, add sesame oil and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.