Sunday, August 28, 2005

Pour Some Sugar on Me

I decided that I was going to cook something simple and fast for dinner as I was still feeling too weak to go out after almost an entire week being laid up with the worst flu. Worse, I'd lost my voice and dreaded having to order food in the voice of a tranny and terrorising the food hawker.

So, I rummaged in my moanfully bare fridge to see what I could cook with. The inventory was beyond sad as I had not gone out shopping in more than a week. I could cook either Spam (a sad, sad leftover from a hen-night party when we had to carve naughty shapes from Spam in like 5 minutes ... the imagination of pre-wedding women, fueled with way too many vodka jello shots and wine and the anticipation of a cute male stripper, is terrifying) with frozen vegetables in tomato sauce. Definitely not the healthiest but it has a certain, strange comfort value of being a stock school canteen food. Which is a good thing and a bad thing.

I had three chicken thighs, 1 sea bass, 2 cans of Spam, 1 packet of baby kailan and half a packet of baby carrots. Oh, and 4 eggs. This was beyond sad. I felt like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.

I decided to check my collection of recipes in my PC. There was a promising recipe that looked simple and used only a minimum of ingredients. Woo hoo! Brill, chicken and rice it is for din din then. The recipe was entitled Rock Sugar and Ginger Chicken and for the next hour as I cooked, the bloody song Pour Some Sugar on Me was going through my head. I even pathetically "danced" the chicken thighs across the chopping board while humming that at one point. I sooooo need to stop watching MTV.

Rock Sugar & Ginger Chicken
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp rock sugar
1 1/2 cup of julienned ginger (that means sliced to thin toothpick-like pieces)
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp groundnut oil
3 chicken thighs
That's it ... I know!

Tip: OK, firstly, let me give you guys some tips on how to get the ginger juliennes quickly if you are not a cleaver or knife happy person like me. Use the ole grater. Cut your ginger piece so that you have a long piece and grate it lengthwise so you get toothpick like pieces instead of rice size ones. Although I really can't understand why peeps do not like slicing and dicing like I do ... there is something so therapeutic about it. Oh well. Now let's get started.

1. Heat the stock in a saucepan and add the soy sauce, rock sugar and water.
2. Stir to dissolve the sugar
3. In a pan, heat the oil and saute the ginger slices till lightly brown, making sure they do not clump together or get too browned.
4. When your sauce is bubbling, turn off the fire but keep it on the stove so it can remain warm
5. Push your ginger slices to one side of the pan and add the chicken thigh pieces
6. Cook the chicken, making sure to turn occasionally so the skin does not stick to the pan, till lightly browned
7. Pour some of the oil away so you have a minimum of oil in the pot with the chicken and ginger slices
8. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and stir up the whole pot so the ginger slices and sauce was coating the chicken
9. When the sauce is boiling, turn down the fire and let the chicken simmer for about 5 minutes, uncovered
10. Stir and cover and cook for another 4 minutes or so
11. Dish and serve hot with rice

OK, my take on this dish was that it was tasty but not spicy enough for this Peranakan grago chick. I like my food spicy and somehow this was a little too blah for me. I would add some chilli juliennes in there next time and mebbe even a dash of Shaoxing wine. And definitely pepper. On the whole it scored about 6.75/10 for me ... but it was fairly healthy once I removed the excess oil before adding the sauce. So it scores about a 7/10 for health once I added some steamed baby carrots to my meal.

Also, I think the rock sugar may be too bland for this recipe. If I try this recipe again, I may use brown sugar or raw sugar. I think this recipe could do with a bit of a darker, more rustic flavour. It was like Ashlee Simpson trying to do rock songs. Not convincing and way too banal although superficially acceptable. I think I would not try this recipe again without extensive modification and then I would probably change the name to Steph's Sugar & Spiced Chicken. Now there's a thought ...

Another tip: If you have any leftover sauce, keep it. Use it as a chilli base. Slice some chilli padis and throw it into the sauce. Alternatively, add some dark vinegar to it, julienne more ginger and throw it together and voila! You have a dipping sauce. Yums.

Categories - Chicken Run


Blogger syah said...

"danced" the chicken thighs? LOL that's hilarious.

2:14 pm  

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