The girls walked in after running amok at the playground and asked if I’m making chicken and rice. They then announced very loudly that they are hungry and can’t wait to have dinner. The excitement and smile on their faces, told me that dinner is not going to be a broken record of me saying, “Sit down and finish your food!”. True enough, dinner was a breeze, even on the next day! I reserved the sauce to season the egg noodles, blanched some xiao bai cai, and heated some left over soy sauce chicken. Lunch was served in 5 minutes, and the girls asked for 2nd servings.
I served this soy sauce chicken with rice cooker chicken rice, omitting the chicken pieces used in that recipe of course. The husband was grinning from ear to ear when I served this up. I vividly remember him wolfing down his dinner while mumbling to himself, “So good, so good…”. Yes, this dish earn me another one of his ‘That was a great meal’ kiss. And he even ‘liked’ the soy sauce chicken picture I posted on my facebook! That’s like a double confirm yummers!
The recipe is easy to follow, and the prep time is minimal. Clean up was a breeze too as it only requires one pot. I used my trusty 26cm Le Creuset French oven to help me cook this gorgeous bird. If there is only one piece of cookware you need to own, it will be Le Creuset French oven. It truly is a multi-purpose pot, frying, stir-frying, slow cooking, searing, braising, steaming, or baking. You name it, it does it all. The black phenolic lid knobs on the enamelled cast iron are heat-resistant up to 480°F / 250°C.
Cast iron can be used reliably on any heat source, from your stovetop to the oven or even on the grill. It retain heat so efficiently, that it allows for use of lower heat settings on your stovetop and oven cooking. Always use medium to low heat when cooking with cast iron. Use high heat only when boiling or reducing consistency of stock and sauces.
Because cast iron retains heat so well, be sure to allow hot pan to cool for a few minutes before washing. Plunging a hot pan into cold water may cause thermal shock, and may result in cracking or loss of enamel. Never use scourers or abrasive cleaners on the enamel. To remove stubborn food residues, fill the pan with warm water and let soak for 15 to 20 minutes before washing.
- 1.5-2kg whole chicken, cleaned
- 2 tsp oil
- 8 slices of old ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 stalks scallions, chop into 2 inch pieces
- 3 star anise
- 1 1/4 cup Shao Xing wine
- 1 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 cups water
- Heat oil in dutch oven.
- Saute garlic, scallion, ginger, and star anise until fragrant.
- Add salt, light soy, dark soy, wine, sugar, and water.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add chicken into the simmering liquid, making sure cavity is filled with cooking liquid.
- Bring to boil, and lower heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
- Periodically baste the exposed area with cooking liquid, if the whole chicken is not submerged.
- Remove from heat and allow chicken to rest in the liquid for 15 minutes before serving.
- Baste the chicken occasionally with the sauce in the pot.
- This will keep the skin moist as it cools.
- The remaining sauce goes great over steamed rice or as a sauce base for egg noodles.