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methods for hainan/chinese boiled/whitecut chicken

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i know there are a lot of variations in the flavorings and sauces depending on the region, but does anyone have any definitive suggestions on the poaching or steeping or boiling method to render the chicken tender and quivery? sauce suggestions are of course welcome too.

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  1. I am making it even as I post! The chicken's resting in the hot broth after simmering 1/2 hr. (I think it needs more time) I checked out recipes from epicurious.com, foodnetwork.com, chinesecooking.com and kuali.com! Will start making the rice when chicken is out of the broth. Sauce is green onion/ginger although all recipes call for a chili sauce. Will report, even if it bombs.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Sarah

      Turned out OK, maybe great. But am distracted by PBS' special on disco... gotta get down!

      1. re: Sarah

        the traditional method is steeping the chicken - as compared to simmering. bring the liquid back to a simmer after you put the whole chicken in - cover - and shut off the flame. wait. about an hour will cook a 3.5 - 4lb chicken - still a bit pink at the bone for the leg. a step that some folks forget is to chill the finished chicken in ice water to make it juicier - by jelling some of those gelatinous liquids in the chicken rather than have them weep out as it cools at room temp. if you drop the hot drained chicken into a plastic bag before dunking into ice water you will maybe keep a bit more chicken flavor. I'll let others chime in on the preferred ginger - scallion sauce ingredients/technique. There was a very recent thread on this very topic.

        1. re: gordon wing

          I basically followed the epicurious recipe and simmered it because I used a bigger chicken (4.25 lbs) and let it rest in the broth about 1/2 hr. I plunged it into an icewater bath for 5-6 mins, drained, dried, oiled and then let it sit for about an hour while I prepared the rice and sauce (Neta's post 11/26). It came out surprisingly juicy and succulent, considering it was a supermarket bargain buy.

      2. I steep according to the method outlined by gordon wing: in a pot that *just* fits the chicken, bring enough water to cover the chicken to a boil. If you want, throw in a chunk of ginger and/or a green onion.Put the chicken in the pot, return the water to a simmer, cover and turn the heat off, and let sit for an hour. NO PEEKING! After an hour, dunk in ice water (I usually don't do this...I'm too impatient to get the chicken on the table!), drain, and chop.

        For accompaniments, I'm lazy...I typically serve oyster sauce or plum sauce, and salt. I'm going to try my homemade smoked salt next time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ricepad

          homemade smoked salt - tell us more.