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Soy Sauce Chicken

Recipe #: 176  |  Submitted By: unknown  |  Last Modified: 14 Oct 2010

Description: This is a whole chicken dish, beloved of the Southern Chinese. If the chicken is hand-plucked in the old-fashioned way, it will be coloured an even russet brown by the soy sauce and sugar mixture. However, when a chicken is machine-plucked, as it usually is in the West, the colouring will not be as successful. Fortunately, the aromatic soy sauce taste is not affected in any way.

Servings: 4 as a main course

Soy Sauce Chicken
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Ingredients for Soy Sauce Chicken

 2 whole star anise

 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

 1 tbsp groundnut or corn oil

 6 spring onions, halved crosswise

 2-3 slices fresh ginger root, about 3mm thick, peeled

 1 oven-ready chicken, 1.4kg (3lb), at room temperature

 250ml thick soy sauce

 2 tbsp Shaohsing wine or medium dry sherry

 4-5 tbsp brown sugar


Directions for Soy Sauce Chicken

Cooking Tip

Variation: Soy sauce drumsticks or chicken wings. 12 drumsticks or chicken wings or 6 of each. Pour the sauce repeatedly over the drumsticks or wings for 10 minutes, then simmer, covered for about 20-30 minutes until cooked.

1. To make the spiced liquid, put the star anise and peppercorns in a saucepan with 350ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, reducing the liquid to 175ml. Drain and discard the spices.

2. Heat a wok over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the oil and swirl it around. Add the spring onion and ginger, stir for about 10 seconds or until they have released their aroma. Remove from the heat. Transfer the spring onion and ginger to the chicken cavity.

3. Wash the wok, then add the spiced liquid, soy sauce, wine or sherry and sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring to make sure that the sugar has dissolved.

4. Put the chicken in on its side. Using a large spoon, pour the simmering sauce repeatedly over the chicken for 10 minutes.

5. With a spatula held in one hand and a wooden spoon put inside the cavity, turn the chicken over to lie on the other side. Spoon the simmering sauce over for another 10 minutes.

6. If too much sauce has evaporated, replenish with about 60ml water. Bring to simmering point again.

7. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over again, cover and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked. To test, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a chopstick. If no pink juices run out, the chicken is cooked.

8. Remove the chicken from the wok, tipping out the soy sauce from the cavity. Put some of this sauce on the table to use as a dip. The rest can be stored in the refrigerator and used to season other ingredients.

9. To serve the chicken, carve either Chinese style or in your usual way.


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