CANTONESE POACHED CHICKEN
This meal, Cantonese Poached Chicken, always appeared on our dinner table as a child. As far as Chinese cuisine goes, it’s one of the most popular chicken dishes—especially in Cantonese cuisine.
Classic Poached Chicken Recipe from China
Poached chicken has been my family’s favorite dish since I was a child. Every Chinese New Year or Qing Ming, birthday, or even a mahjong party, my parents would serve a full, poached chicken to their guests.
Slowly poaching a whole free-range chicken with fresh onions and ginger is the healthiest and simplest way to eat chicken. After the scallion oil has cooled, just cut the scallion into cubes and serve (and maybe a little soy sauce).
Try to spot the full white sliced chickens the next time you’re in any Chinatown and pass by a restaurant with a window display of char siu, soy sauce birds, and hanging roast ducks. However, despite the fact that this classic Cantonese poached chicken dish can be seen on restaurant menus, it is most usually prepared and consumed at home. if you’re a Cantonese, you’ve had bak chit gai at some point in your life
White-Cut Chicken? What’s That All About?
In Mandarin and Cantonese, the dish’s name is (bak chit gai in Cantonese) or (bai qie ji in Mandarin). Poaching the fish in water results in a dish that resembles nothing more than a sheet of white paper.
In Chinese, the word “white” is prefixed to anything cooked in water with little or no spice. The Cantonese term “white boiling shrimp” (or simply “bak churk ha”) refers to boiled fresh shrimp.
- 3-4 pounds whole chicken
- 5 slices of ginger
- 2 scallions
- 3 tablespoons of finely minced scallions
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- 2 tablespoons of finely minced ginger
- soy sauce
- Before cooking the chicken, it must be at room temperature. Rinse the chicken thoroughly with cold water, being sure to focus on the cavity. The giblets and any internal organs should have been removed at this point, although there may still be a few stray feathers that need to be plucked. For a whole chicken (especially if you purchase it from a live poultry business or Asian markets), washing before cutting and cooking is a process that should not be omitted, in my opinion.
- Splashing water and introducing bacteria to surfaces should be avoided at all costs when washing and preparing the whole chicken. Don’t cut or split the skin off of the chicken, because you don’t want the meat to come into contact with the boiling water as it cooks. This will ensure that the final product has a wet and silky feel.
- Add enough water to a large stock pot to completely submerge the chicken. By filling the pot to the brim with water and removing the chicken, you can determine how long the chicken will need to cook. When the chicken is still in the pot, do not turn on the heat. In order to create a tasty stock, adopt this method of ensuring that the chicken is submerged in just enough water (and avoid any more). Approximately 18 cups of water were needed to completely submerge a four-pound chicken in a stock pot.
- Add 2 scallions and 5 pieces of ginger to the pot and bring it to a boil, then remove from the heat. Sluggishly lower in the bird, legs down and head on top. It’s fine if the breasts are just barely visible above the surface of the water. When you add the chicken, the water will cool down and stop boiling, so bring it back up to a boil and do not leave the pot.
- Lift the chicken carefully from the water as soon as it returns to a boil. You can use two wooden spoons to hoist the chicken by delicately hooking them under its wings. The objective is to remove any ice-cold water that may have become trapped in the crack. Reintroduce the chicken to the pot and bring to a boil once more after releasing the water.
- Reduce the heat just as the water is about to begin to boil. Keep it at a low boil, but not boiling. Movement in the water is acceptable but it should not be completely still. The liquid will continue to simmer slowly if you cover the pot and cook it at the lowest possible temperature. Around 10-11 minutes per pound of meat should be all that is needed to cook for about 35-40 minutes. Keeping an eye on the water to make sure it’s not boiling too quickly is fine, but covering the pot while it’s cooking isn’t.
- Insert a skewer or chopstick into the thigh to check for doneness. When the juices run clear, it’s time to stop cooking the food. The chicken should be removed from the saucepan and placed in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Allow for thorough cooling.
- Make the sauce while the chicken is cooling down. You can choose between two recipes: one without soy sauce and one with scallions, ginger, oil, and salt. The basic version is more traditional, since it allows the flavors of chicken, ginger, and scallion to really come through on the tongues of diners around. Soy sauce is a favorite of Judy’s, and it makes a great addition! Add soy sauce to a portion of the simple version, and then mix the two together. To find out which your loved ones prefer, try both!
- To give the chicken that tempting, shining sheen, you can lightly spray it with oil or some of the fat that floats on top of the poaching liquid!
- To serve, cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces that are easy to eat with chopsticks. You can serve this with steamed rice and your favorite sauce.