Friday, September 2, 2011

Steamed Chicken Leg Chinese-style

Steamed chicken leg Chinese-style. I found it hard to assemble the chicken pieces. This was my presentation to Chef.  Personally, I found it messy and untidy but he said he was fine with it.

Lessons on moist heat cooking methods applied to steamed chicken legs, done Chinese-style. The chicken is first boiled, and steamed, then seasoned, chilled, assembled and served as a cold dish. This is the first time I've learned to debone a chicken. It's a mindset block I have that such a task is reserved for the butcher or the advanced cook. Eli, my partner, says, Just do it. So I did. Clumsily but it did come off. Phew. Feels like I just did a triple sommersault. To continue to have these virgin experiences at my age is a wonder in itself.

This is how the whole thing came together. 

Slice thinly young ginger and arrange neatly across serving plate.
Cut spring onions to 2cm length and arrange on top of ginger.
Top view
Add water to a pot and bring to boil. Put in chicken thigh. Boil for 5 min
then place it on top of ginger and spring onion.
Loosely cling-wrap and steam for half an hour. Remove from steamer and chill for 15 minutes.

We had to label our own plate for identification. Of all places, I chose to unveil Extra Virgin Chef in a steam oven! Eli drew a Jewish Star of David on his. 
Take chicken out of chiller and remove bone, then flatten chicken and cut into 2cm wide pieces. You will see a gelatin around the chicken. This is concentrated flavour and you should scoop some of it onto the plate. I would have normally thrown this away!

Next, prepare simple seasoning of 1 Tbsp light soy sauce and 1 Tbsp sesame oil and add any remaining gelatin for further flavour. Taste seasoning before drizzling over chicken leg. Garnish serving plate with tomato and lettuce, and serve.

Some classmates complained this is way too tedious for just a mere piece of chicken leg but I think the little steps here and there result in subtle differences in flavour and enhance the overall feel and taste for this Chinese dish.

This will be one of the dishes in our next practical exams on moist heat cooking. Looks like there's some homework to be done.

Click here to see how I fared in my practical exams on this dish.

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