Thursday, September 9, 2010
1 Recipe #169: Gin & Ginger Chicken
I made this Chinese-style dish, which is really a fusion of Chinese and American flavors, for dinner tonight. Yes, another chicken recipe. :) Erik brought back 1.5 lbs. of chicken from the grocery store, which, for two persons, is enough for 3 meals, i.e., a 1/4 lb. (or 4 oz.) serving of chicken per person. So, expect a third chicken recipe after this one. :)
This recipe turned out really well. The ginger and the red chili pepper flakes give this dish a little bit of a kick. Erik told me not once, but twice, how much he liked it. That felt really good to hear. :) Hope you will like it just as much!
Gin & Ginger Chicken
1 Tbsp. sesame seed oil
1/2 c. shallots, peeled & finely minced (about 1 large shallot)
1/3 c. whole scallions (including greens) (about 7-8 small scallions)
1/3 c. celery, diced (about 1 small stalk)
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled & finely minced (about 1" piece)
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, well-rinsed, defatted, and patted dry
1 c. dry, distilled gin (if unavailable, tequila is a good substitute)
1/2 tsp. five-spice powder (Click link for recipe)
1/8 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Directions: After washing, defatting, and drying chicken cutlets, lay them onto a non-porous (i.e., silicone) cutting board or other smooth, clean surface. Cover chicken with plastic wrap, and tenderize by pounding flat with the bumpy (i.e., waffle-patterned) side of meat mallet to a uniform thickness of about 1/4". After chicken has been tenderized, cut each piece crosswise into thirds (or smaller, if desired).
Heat sesame seed oil in a large 12-13" nonstick sauté pan on high heat until glistening. Reduce heat to low, then add shallots, scallions, celery, ginger, and bay leaf, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Turn up heat to medium-high and add soy sauce and chicken. Cook chicken until golden brown and slightly crispy around the edges (but still moist and tender on the inside), about 3 minutes per side. (Tenderized chicken cooks much faster because it's thinner and has more exposed surface area after it's been tenderized.) Deglaze pan with gin. Scrape off the fond from the bottom of the pan as the liquid evaporates. Quickly stir in five-spice powder, salt, and red chili pepper flakes, & reduce until liquid is only a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. When ready, remove from heat and squeeze the lime juice over the chicken. Discard bay leaf. Divide into two equal portions and transfer to plates. Sprinkle each portion with sesame seeds, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, and serve.
Yield: 2 servings.
Chef's Notes: If you find that the gin's evaporating too quickly during the deglazing process, it's perfectly OK to add more. :) Also, it's very important to brown the chicken; it really does make a huge difference in the flavor and texture of this dish.