Chinese white cut chicken (bái qie ji) is a classic New Year's dish and an everyday comfort item for most Chinese home cooks. It's just a poached chicken served with a scallion-ginger sauce. While it may seem plain and simple, it takes some practice to master the cooking method and produce a juicy and flavorful chicken.
Hungry Bear turned to a recipe from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen for directions. The end result was a white cut chicken that was moist and delicious. I loved dipping the chicken into the scallion-ginger sauce and spooning the sauce over steamed rice. Who knew a poached chicken could be so good!?!
Chinese White Cut Chicken (Bái Qie Ji) Recipe
- 4-5 pound broiler-fryer chicken
- 5 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 ounce fresh ginger (thumb-sized piece for poaching)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 quarts ice water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons green scallions, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons ginger, finely shredded
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Remove any excess fat from the chicken. Rub chicken with 2 teaspoons of salt, then rinse under cold water and place onto a rack to drain.
- In a large stock pot, bring about 3 quarts water, ginger, garlic and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the chicken, breast-side up. Add more boiling water if necessary to cover the chicken completely. Return water to a boil and boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes, removing any scum on the surface. Cover pot, turn off heat and let the chicken sit for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and return to a boil for 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove from pot and place the chicken in a colander in the sink. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of thigh. Thermometer should read 170°F. (Return to pot and simmer for a few more minutes if internal temperature is under 170°F.) Slowly pour ice water over the chicken in the colander. Transfer chicken to cutting board and rub it with sesame oil. Allow chicken to cool before chopping the chicken with a meat cleaver. Reserve chicken broth for future use.
- Place scallions, ginger and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat vegetable oil over high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Carefully, pour the oil over scallion mixture. The oil will make a crackling sound and may splatter when it hits the scallion mixture. Serve the chicken warm or room temperature with scallion-ginger sauce.
Makes 4-6 servings
[Adapted from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen]
Update August 13, 2008: The first picture in this post won the DMBLGIT July 2008 aesthetics category! We are very psyched and honored to receive the recognition.
[tags]chinese, chicken, ginger, green onions, scallions, easy[/tags]