Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bastardized Hainan Chicken (Salad)

A Hainan chicken meal is usually a lot of rice, a lot of chicken, and maybe a little cucumber. And cilantro. I've been trying to shake things up at home a bit, so I turned this into a salad, even adding some rice vinegar to the ginger scallion oil (gasp!).

No bones, no rice. I would've added cucumber and cilantro if I had any on hand, but I didn't. And I'm okay with that because it was still delicious.

  • 4 chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 knob ginger, crushed
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2" pieces
  • salt

In a medium pot, fill halfway with water, add the ginger, scallions and salt. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, fill another medium pot halfway with water, bring to a boil and add the chicken. Boil for 1 minute and allow the frothy stuff to float to the top. Discard the frothy water, rinse the chicken, and then transfer to the first pot with the rest of the ingredients. Add fresh water so that there's at least 2 inches covering the chicken.

When it returns to a boil, cover the pot, turn off the heat and let the chicken poach undisturbed for 15 minutes. If the chicken isn't yet done, repeat this step.

Remove the chicken and allow it to cool and then pull it apart into strips. The basic stock can be strained and saved for another use.

And now for the ginger scallion sauce.

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

Combine the ginger, scallions and salt in a heat proof bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan until a single piece of chopped scallion dropped in the oil sizzles and bubbles violently. Carefully pour the oil over the ginger scallion mixture and stir. Add the vinegar and stir again.

At this point, the ginger scallion sauce is more of a dressing than merely an oil. I tossed the chicken in it and then plopped a bunch of that over some fresh green lettuce. I'm still getting through the sweet pickled chiles I made months ago, so I added a few of those as well.

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