Another winner from the Charmain Solomon's massive work The Complete Asian Cookbook.
Earlier this week, while I was making the Tea Eggs, I realized I needed to make something for dinner (we cannot survive on eggs alone…well, Julia could but Alex would mutiny) so I started flipping through the pages and found the perfect recipe for everyone in my little home.
Shiu Ng Heung Gai, or Oven-Roasted Spiced Chicken, gets a lot of its flavor from the use of five spice powder, which I'd also used in the eggs. I love the flavor, love the smell – spicy, a bit sweet, exotic. Sold.
Here's the recipe:
Shiu Ng Heung Gai
"This method of preparation is particularly suitable for chicken drumsticks, thighs or wings. If if is not possible to buy selected joints, a whole chicken can be used. See variation at end of recipe."
Oven temperature: 170-190 degrees C/350-375 degrees F
1.5 kg (3 lbs) chicken pieces
1/3 cup light soy sauce (I didn't have light, I used what I had)
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon Chinese wine or dry sherry (I had neither – I used whatever white wine was in the fridge)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons five spice powder
Wash chicken pieces, dry well on paper towels.
In a large shallow dish mix soy sauce, oil and wine.
Crush garlic to a pulp with salt and add to soy mixture with ginger and five spice.
Mix well. Put chicken joints in marinade and turn to coat all sides.
Cover and marinate for 1 hour or more.
Remove chicken from the marinade, put in a roasting pan in one layer and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the marinade over. Roast in a moderate oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is brown and crisp, basting every 20 minutes with the marinade. Serve hot or cold.
Wings need about 45 minutes roasting time, drumsticks from 45-55 minutes and thighs 1 hour. Thighs should be roasted skin side uppermost.
Variation: Make a marinade as above and rub it well all over a 1.75 kg (3 1/2 lb) roasting chicken. Spoon some of the marinade into the cavity of the chicken as well. Marinate for 1 hour, then roast as above, turning the chicken first on one side and then on the other so it is browned all over. Baste frequently. Finish cooking shicken breast upwards. It should take about 1 hour 45 minutes. To serve, carve chicken as for red-cooked chicken*.
* The directions for red-cooked chicken, which is another recipe in that same section, has this to say about the carving of the whole chicken:
"Traditionally the chicken is put on a chopping board and cut in two lengthways with a sharp cleaver. Each half is chopped into 3.5 cm (1 1/2 inch) strips and reassembled in the original shape. If this proves too much of an undertaking, simply carve the chicken into joints."
And now I want to sharpen my cleaver and red-cook a chicken. Perhaps a post for another time.
To round out the meal, I also cooked up some rice and I sauteed broccoli florets in a mix of peanut oil and butter with sliced almonds. I'm delighted to say that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – in my little family enjoyed it. Phew!