Monday, March 19, 2007
Junshan Chicken with Silver-Needle Tea
Ah, back in my kitchen after vacation. I couldn't wait to get back to my Revolutionary Chinese Cooking cookbook. Tonight I made Junshan Chicken with Silver-Needle Tea. It looks bland because it is so white, but it is delicately tasteful. There is a slight tea flavored sauce which seems to enhance the tender chicken. I didn't want to eat this with rice because I didn't want the rice to over power the natural flavoring.
I have never prepared a food recipe with tea before, but it has been on my list of things to do. I visited Teavana this past week and purchased several types of loose teas, including silver needle (which is known to have a high amount of antioxidants).
Many of the recipes in this cookbook call for chicken with the skin on. I can not find it anywhere, be it the thigh or the breast meat. It's boneless and skinless or boned and with skin. So I either have to make the recipe without the skin or mess around cutting it up. Tonight I went with the boneless chicken so there is no skin. And it still tasted great.
This was a fun recipe for me to prepare. I liked that I got to "wash" the tea as I have seen in tea ceremonies. And it was also fun to "double" fry the chicken by cooking it twice. It probably isn't that good for the waist-line though because of all that peanut oil.
Holding your knife at an angle to the board, cut the chicken into thin slices. Put the slices in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients, and mix well. If there is any excess egg white that does not cling to the chicken, discard it.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil, and then let the water cool to 176 degrees before pouring 1/2 cups over the tea leaves. Strain off the water immediately, then add 5 tablespoons fresh water at the same temperature to the leaves, and leave to infuse.
Heat the oil over a medium flame until it reaches 275 degrees. Add the chicken nd swiftly separate the slices with a pair of chopsticks. When the chicken slices are pale but not completely cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Drain off all but 3 tablespoons oil and return the wok to a high flame. Add the chicken and salt to taste and stir-fry. When the chicken and salt to taste and stir-fry. When the chicken is just cooked, pour in the tea infusion, leaves and all, and when the liquid boils, add the potato-flour misture and stir as it thickens the juices. Immediately remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and serve.