HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Trini-Chinese Chicken recipe deliciousness

Linguafood posted a link to a Sam Sifton recipe for Trini-Chinese Chicken on a What’s for Dinner thread recently. I made it for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. The recipe calls for frying chicken thighs, legs and wings, but I couldn’t be bothered with the mess tonight, so I pan roasted them (them being a bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts) stovetop for 4 minutes and then put them into the oven (preheated to 450) for about 17 minutes. They came out tender, juicy and really flavorful. A great recipe. We had coleslaw as a side and the slight sweetness was great with the spicy chicken. I could not find a Scotch-bonnet hot pepper sauce so I just used Sriracha. The recipe is here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/mag...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. thanks for your posting, especially since you roasted/baked it as I loved the recipe but I am guilty of seeing "frying" and moving on as I can not stand how my whole house smells after I fry anything. My window of frying is pretty small- late spring and early fall when I can leave the windows open over night and all the next day.

    My kitchen rehab is on hold (grrrrr!) but one thing I am really looking forward to is a good ventilation system!

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodieX2

      Also dislike heavy frying smells in my kitchen. In the summer I use my cast iron pan on the barbeque works well.
      In the house if I do fry I heat the pan up well and lower the temperature during the process, it does help to reduce odours. As for the recipe looks delicious am going to try it.

      1. re: foodieX2

        Sorry about your kitchen rehab being on hold. When you start it back up, make sure that the vent fan is actually vented to the outside. Not sure why remodelers skip that step. I just installed an outside fan on the side of my house and vented through the wall. Keeps the noise outside. A little more pricey for the fan, but I didn't have to do a penetration through the roof.

        Otherwise, and outdoor propane tripod is cheap and a good way to get the frying done.

        Regarding the chicken - it seems like the picture does not totally match the recipe. Only three tbs of soy for 20 pieces of chicken. EDIT - just noticed the date after posting....

        1. re: rudeboy

          The recipe is for 8-10 pieces, rude-y.

      2. Yay! Another convert :-)

        I am totally frying this next time: outside on my gas grill in a cast iron pan.

        It is fab grilled, too.

        7 Replies
        1. re: linguafood

          Yep;) It was great just pan-roasted so I doubt that I would bother with the frying mess. Next time, weather permitting, I will grill on the bbq - bet it would be slamming with some grilled summer corn. Thanks again for spreading the yum!

          1. re: EM23

            I don't generally follow recipes, so to find one that is *that* simple AND delicious.... well, to quote the Loser per se, Mr. Charlie Sheen: winning!!!

            '-)

          2. re: linguafood

            Alan taught me a trick for frying. Use a DO. With the high sides relative to the amount of oil, no or almost no splatter.

            1. re: c oliver

              That's a good hint, but we have really crappy ventilation in the house so we'd be likely either using the deep-fryer outside or try the frying pan on the gas grill...

              But so far, we've been happy with the grill results.

              1. re: linguafood

                I'm really looking forward to doing these...ANYWHERE!

              2. re: c oliver

                A wok is even better for that purpose, and one uses far less oil. Though I never fry chicken: only spring rolls, frites, perhaps small fish like smelt. And very rarely, but that is for health reasons.

                1. re: lagatta

                  Actually this recipe only calls for about a quarter inch plus of oil. I use my largest diameter skillet. I don't care at all about splatters cause I cook on induction :)

            2. Tried this recipe today, and I have to say: thank you! What an awesome dish, will definitely be doing this again very soon.

              I served it with rice and steamed broccoli. I didn't have any scotch bonnet hot sauce on hand, so I used home-made habanero hot sauce. The mix of habanero, oyster sauce and lime juice was very interesting.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cjohansen

                Glad that you enjoyed it, but all thanks go to Linguafood for her post on a WFD thread. I just wanted to spread the tastiness. So many great recipe posts on WFD that never make it to their own thread:(
                And I guess Sam Sifton deserves props as well!

              2. EM23 and linguafood,

                Thank you for this interesting dish. I captured it but have not yet tried it. The NYT article was terrific and really makes you want to taste the island history.

                1. I made this last night and while the chicken was delicious, the sauce was... unusual! The oyster sauce that I bought was unlike the oyster sauce I have bought in the UK. At home, it's reasonably pale and has a very savoury but somewhat delicate flavour. The one I got here in Toronto (Golden Dragon brand) was a massive punch of sugar and salt, and was dark brown and gloopy and quite revolting. Obviously the sauce didn't stand a chance. What brands have other people used?

                  Anyway I would happily dip the chicken in straight scotch bonnet sauce so all is not lost!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gembellina

                    Oyster sauce is typically a dark brown and thick condiment that is at once sweet and savory. I've never seen one that I would describe as pale. Certainly it should be darker than fish sauce.

                    Lee Kum Kee, which invented the condiment, is usually a reliable brand for their premium oyster sauce. For my take on Trini-Chinese chicken, I used Maekrua, which is a sweeter Thai oyster sauce I prefer for my stir fries.

                  2. This sounds great and I've saved. Thanks for posting this here rather than WFD. I just can't deal with the 100s of posts there. When there's a real keeper, I hope others will post about it like this. And thanks, linguafood.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: c oliver

                      I admit to scanning the WFD threads for the recipes and cooking tips. I have learned so much from the advice on those threads, and I wish they would post some of the WFD inside info on the HC board.
                      Glad Lingua's valley has turned happy again:))

                      1. re: EM23

                        I suggested that a LONG time ago but to no avail. A lot of really good cooks are cooking a lot of really good food that a lot of other good cooks are never 'hearing' about.

                        1. re: EM23

                          I feel kinda awkward for getting all the praise when all I did was follow a recipe (for once!) and share it here.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            As a die-hard recipe follower, about all I can do is 'share.' So much good food, so little time.

                            1. re: linguafood

                              Ye who shares the recipe gets the credit. Just like roxlet and her halal cart chicken :) I never would have heard of the trinichinese chicken or that halal cart chicken if I hadn't read about it on WFD!

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Totally agree, j! Will Owen's pork shoulder and Zuni roast chicken come to mind. But that's a different thread :)

                        2. Thank you for the recipe - sounds delicious, not too time and suitable for grilling. It is in my pepperplate for the time I take those legs and wings out of the freezer that I put in today without a clear idea of their destiny. They are now destined to become a Trini :)

                          1. I made this last night and it deserves all the love it's getting! I used wings, legs and thighs and I fried it in a regular skillet on the stovetop. I didn't have that hot sauce but will get some. I loved this so much that I ate a leg and I DON'T EAT CHICKEN LEGS!!!!!!! Although a Southerner I don't fry chicken so that was a little nerve wracking but it came out perfectly. I cooked in two batches and let the first drain on a paper grocery bag in a warm oven. I'm sure other methods are good but I thought the frying really made the dish.

                            We have several pieces left. Any thoughts as to reheating? Maybe in a foil pack and then blast under the broiler at the end? I don't usually like reheated chicken. Maybe Chinese chicken salad?

                            Again, thanks, kids!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: c oliver

                              I just threw them in the oven at 250 or so, then under the broiler for a couple minutes to get the skin all crispy.

                              PS: When you say "I don't have that hot sauce", did you use a different one or none at all?

                              1. re: linguafood

                                Thanks for the reheating advice. I turned the sauce over to Bob and he said he followed the recipe but subbed a different hot sauce. We have a fair number and he makes these things a lot so he doesn't remember.

                                BTW, I marinated for about six hours, mixing occasionally. That had to have helped. And my fingers still smell good.

                                To show HOW much I like this, I'm planning on fixing it when the family comes later in the summer. I strive for super good and super easy and this raises the bar. More time to play with grandbabies :)

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I've yet to fry it. I love it so much grilled that I haven't felt compelled to do it any other way.

                                  That dipping sauce is like crack with the chicken :-)

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    So it gets really crispy on the grill. I assumed it was more like bbq. Will have to (maybe!) try it. It wasn't a huge mess frying cause it's only about a 1/4" of oil and not screaming, smoking hot. Plus I have an induction cooktop so messes don't bother me like they used to.

                                    We have extra sauce. Will do something with that. Hmm, maybe I could just freeze it for the next time.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I doubt it gets as crispy as it does fried, but it works for me.

                                      I'm mostly shying away from the frying b/c of the smell. Our fan is useless.

                            2. I made this for the second time last evening and, if possible, it was even better! One thing I like about frying it is that the oil is a combo of canola and sesame and you really get that sesame oil flavor. Also had the "proper" sauce which is quite punchy :) Had enough leftover for a little chicken salad for lunch. A bunch of family will be coming in in a few weeks. This is definitely on the menu. Thanks again.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: c oliver

                                So the chicken and the kunefe…
                                Dear C Oliver,
                                I am your long lost Turkish-Trini-Chinese niece. It seems my invite to the family reunion has been lost in the mail. Please send directions:)

                                1. re: EM23

                                  Done :)

                                  What's hilarious is that with my new cheapie subscription to Saveur, I just got the May issue. Guess what? It has a recipe for an Israeli version of kunefe. Totally weird.

                              2. Is the chicken good without the sauce--the marinade sounds really good.

                                16 Replies
                                1. re: escondido123

                                  It's outstanding without the sauce. My grandbabies are just ayear and half old and I'll be serving it to them :)

                                  1. re: escondido123

                                    What's the problem with the sauce?

                                    While the marinade is great, it's a bit on the sweet side b/c of the 5 spice powder. The dipping sauce is complementary by being pungently sour, salty & spicy.

                                    It wouldn't be the same without it.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Five spice, ginger and lime juice, IMO, make it great. If esco thinks it's too spicy he could cut downin the sauce. We think it's perfect

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        It's perfect with the sauce. And yes, the level of heat in the dipping sauce is pretty easy to adjust to own's personal pref.

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Since you cook on the grill rather than frying, do you add some sesame oil to the sauce?

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I add a few drops to the marinade instead.

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              Ah, that makes sense. I love sesame oil.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                I've decided to do a pork tenderloin on the grill this way tonight. Bob's eyes lit up when I told him :)

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Should work well given how mildly flavored pork tenderloin is.

                                                  Let's hear how it turns out.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    I've been trying to remember to keep a couple in the freezer. And now it's really hot here so the grill becomes an every day use. For just the two of us, one tenderloin gives us a few leftovers.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      Worked great. Our new fave marinade. Getting ready to make a sandwich from the leftovers.

                                          2. re: linguafood

                                            I didn't say the sauce was a "problem." I just wondered if you had the ingredients for the chicken but not the sauce would it still be worth making. Yes, I assume it wouldn't be the same, but wondered if it would be worth making.

                                            1. re: escondido123

                                              I reply with a strong YES! To me the best part of it is the chicken. But I don't have to choose cause I now have THREE bottles of the hot sauce. I ordered two from Amazon and then Bob found a version and bought it. I AM, however, going to have to start buying much larger volumes of five spice powder :)

                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                Probably. It's still very tasty chicken... but the sauce puts it over the top.

                                          3. My chicken is marinating but I have a hot sauce issue. I have Tabasco or a habanero sauce. I also have fresh birds eye chillis. What do people suggest?

                                            4 Replies
                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                Probably too late, but def habanero. I love my Grace's brand scotch bonnet sauce, because it adds a wonderful fruitiness to the heat. It's my favorite hot sauce these days. Great on pizza, too :-)

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  Thanks C Oliver and Linguafood. I did use the habanero but I don't think the particular habanero sauce I had worked so well in the dipping sauce. The oyster sauce overpowered everything. Living in New Zealand I'm not sure I'll find a scotch bonnet sauce easily.

                                                  The marinade though was delicious. I mixed and ground five spice fresh for it so it was packed with flavour and punch. We'll be revisiting the marinade in the future that's for sure.

                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                    You can order anything online these days. That sauce is intense -- like three slaps in the face at the same time: salty, sour, hot.

                                                    Love it. But I love oyster sauce in many things.

                                              2. *bookmarking thread. Looks delicious!

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                  I have a feeling that this is going to become one of those legendary CH dishes :) Kinda like, for me, Will Owen's pork shoulder (even though he credits the LA Times for the original recipe).

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5826...

                                                      I've made it at least a dozen times and have passed it all around the US.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Ah, muchas. Sounds tasty.

                                                        I might try that with a smaller roast than the usual 8-9 lbs. I tend to make. No way I'm basting a roast every 2 hours if I'm doing it overnight :-)

                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          I use whatever size I please. And no matter how big it's never taken as long as WO says.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            But you're still supposed to be basting it regularly, right?

                                                            What I love about my pork shoulder recipe is that you just throw it in the oven at night, and it's done 12-14 hours later. All the "work" (wet brine overnight & the dry rub) is done beforehand.

                                                            I'm lazy.

                                                2. Believe it or not, this recipe is phenomenal with tofu.

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                    Wow! I'm kinda picturing it. Could you elaborate please? What kind of tofu, what size? Any details that you can think of. We've become real fans of tofu lately. TIA, P.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Firm tofu, pressed really well, cut into bite-sized pieces. I like to marinate in a Ziploc bag with as much air removed as possible. Proceed as for chicken. (I cook the tofu, then chicken for the DH.)

                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                        Gotta try this. What does getting the air out do please?

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Exposes more of the tofu (or whatever you're marinating) to the marinade.

                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                            Isn't that the case for anything one would marinade? I mean, I always try to get as much air out as possible - for space reasons alone. A snug bag doesn't take up as much space as a one full of air.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                I've just been mixing the chicken and the marinade in a bowl and sticking it in the fridge. I learn things all the time :)

                                                    2. I'm so looking forward to making this over the weekend. I have a whole chicken in the fridge that I'm going to piece and I think I'll grill the parts since it's BLAZING hot here right now and I can't bear to turn on the oven. I even have the hot pepper sauce arriving from Amazon today! Mmmmm-mmmm.

                                                      1. Thanks, EM23, Lingua and Sam Sifton! Tried this one last night and loved it. Unfortunately the small people weren't as enthusiastic, but I think if I dialed back the marinade/seasoning a bit (which, admittedly, I was probably heavy handed with) and skipped the sauce altogether for them, they would be good.

                                                        I used boneless, skinless thighs, marinaded for about 1.5 hours, and grilled. For my tastes, the dipping sauce as written was a bit heavy on the oyster sauce, so I added some lemon juice (had used all the limes) and a bit more hot sauce (mine is a habanero sauce, not the called for brand) and it was scrumptious.

                                                        Perfect summer food...no heating the kitchen, easy, quick and delicious. Will definitely be repeating.

                                                        1. Made this for the third or fourth time last night. We have in-laws, kids, sons-in-laws and grandbabies here. Everybody loved it and wants the recipe.

                                                           
                                                          1. I'd love to take a batch of chicken wings to my next "girls' snack night" made using this marinade and sauce and baked rather than fried. However, my chicken wing making skills are pretty sketchy. Can you give me an estimate as to cooking temp and time for about 3lbs of wings in the oven? Or would it be the same as you advise for the mixed chicken parts? Also, would these be good cold or at room temp or should they be reheated?

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Pwmfan

                                                              I wouldn't eat them cold. They really are best served hot or *at least* room temp.

                                                              Having never made chicken wings, I'd likely go the frying route, but I'm sure you could roast them in the oven.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                I agree; I wouldn't eat them cold. We had extras that are now sitting in the fridge. I'll probably reheat, as you mentioned above, in the oven. The frying is super easy and all it does is make a bit of a mess. Twenty minutes at a medium fry temp and they were perfect.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I usually reheat them at 275 for 15-20 min., then put under the broiler on HI for 3-4. Really crisps up the skin -- even crispier than straight from the grill.

                                                                  Guess I'm making this again soon. It's been at least 2 weeks :-)

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    Good idea re the quick broil. I'm probably having leftovers tonight. Still have some of the sauce and some rice.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Forgot to mention that I did reheat just like this and they were wonderful. Thanks as always.

                                                              2. I saw this when linguafood posted it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
                                                                This Sunday, I will! And I'm going to grill it. It should be muy excellente!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                    I fry them and it's not particularly messy. Because the oil's not smoking hot, it does fine. 'Course I have an induction cooktop so cleanup is never a consideration for me.

                                                                  2. We're heading to Seattle to see family. I'm taking 5-spice and Matouk's sauce just so I'm set to make this yet again :) Like others, I really get to craving it after not very long period of time.

                                                                    1. Made these again the other night - all wings - for some friends. What a hit they are! This has to be one of those go-down-in-CH-history recipes. Props to linguafood again for sharing!

                                                                      1. I did this with legs tonight - and I've never liked chicken legs in my life. These were great! If you haven't made these, please do.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Here's a pix. Should have used a different color plate :) Put some leftover in a little omelet this morning.

                                                                           
                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Curious about this recipe. Since you like it so much, and since the others seem to, I will try it. How does the chicken get so bronzed and nearly black?

                                                                            1. re: rudeboy

                                                                              Some here cook it on the grill but I fry. I hadn't thought about the color but maybe it's the sesame oil in with the other that does it. For the legs I did almost a full 20 minutes over more medium than medium high turning every two or three minutes. It really is very, very good.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                Yeah, I plan on oil frying to stick with the recipe's intent. I only have toasted sesame oil, which is probably what was intended. Thanks for the tips....

                                                                                1. re: rudeboy

                                                                                  We had a small leg left. I put some of the meat in a little omelet for my breakfast and hand fed the rest to my dog who is celebrating her 15th birthday today :)