White cooked chicken recipe

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White cooked chicken recipe

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane

This is more of a general description of a method of cooking chicken than a recipe. It owes much to Stephanie Alexander and Neil Perry and to the Chinese on the island of Hainan who have been doing this for thousands of years.
For Stephanie Alexander's white-cooked chicken, which is much more comprehensive, refer to The Cook's Companion. For an alternative version, with different timings, try Neil Perry's Rockpool. Both books also include delicious accompanying sauces.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, together with a knob of ginger that's been sliced and two or three chopped spring onions. The pot must be big enough and full enough to allow you to subsequently fully immerse a whole chicken in it and you must have a lid for it. You may prefer not to include the ginger and onion if you are going to use the chicken meat for some other purpose, e.g. sandwiches.
When the water comes to the boil, immerse a fresh free-range chicken. It must not have been frozen.
Allow the water to come back to the boil and while it is returning to the boil skim off any scum that forms on top of the water.
Lower the temperature to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and let the chicken cook for 10 to 15 minutes (as a guide, 10 for a small chicken, 15 for a large one).
Remove the chicken from the heat but don't lift the lid.
Allow the chicken to sit in the hot water for 45 minutes. (During this time it will continue to cook.)
Just before the 45 minutes is up, prepare a large dish of cold water filled with ice cubes.
Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and drain it well, holding it upright to drain any liquid from the cavity. Be especially careful not to pierce the skin so that you don't release any of the juices.
Plunge it into the iced water. Leave it there for one hour.
Remove it from the iced water and refrigerate it. It can then be used when you need it. You'll find that provided the skin has remained intact a delicious jelly forms between the skin and the flesh. This is probably the best bit.
© Sue Dyson and Roger McShane, 2005
This recipe must not be reproduced in print or displayed on another Web site in part or whole without the written permission of the authors.

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