Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Henan Chicken Stew

This is from this week's "Slow Food Fast" series in the Wall Street Journal. I made it this afternoon for tonight's dinner, and my house smelled so good that I have to share this with you tonight. While it requires a lot of different spices, you won't be disappointed. Your house will smell like an Asian marketplace, minus the goats and cigarette smoke.

Henan Chicken Stew

Boiling in a big, deep pot

Beer Braised Henan Chicken
Adapted from Danny Bowien, Mission Chinese Food
From Wall Street Journal

Total time: 35 minutes
Serves: 6


1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, broken down and cut into 10 pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup dried red chilies
2 Tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns or whole black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 pieces star anise
4 pods green cardamon
2 Tbsp. Chinese chili paste or Sriacha
2 cups chicken stock or water
16 oz. lager-style beer (Budweiser, Tsingtao, etc.)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
4 small russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch dice
Sherry vinegar to taste
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

First, season the chicken with salt and two tbsp. fish sauce and let sit five minutes. Meanwhile, set a heavy, deep pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, work in batches to brown both sides of chicken pieces, about six minutes per batch, transferring chicken to a bowl as you go.

Return chicken to pot, increase heat to high and add all remaining ingredients except the vinegar and cilantro. Bring pot up to a rolling boil, cover and cook until chicken and potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced, about 20 minutes.

Season with vinegar and extra fish sauce to taste. Top with cilantro.

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