Five spice poached chicken
Poaching chicken is a quick, and easy, way to prepare meat for salads or noodles; or just to eat with a dipping sauce. It’s also a nice way to infuse chicken with a lot of flavour — although you can do pretty much the same thing, without the aromatics. If you want to use skinless, boneless chicken breast, for some sort of “healthy” alternative to food, feel free. But your best bet is to use a whole chicken, or at least a mix of bone-in, white and dark meat, for maximum flavour.
I’m using a basic five-spice combination here, like you might use for making tea eggs. Use whole spices, not powder, to get the flavour without covering the chicken in scummy sludge. The tangerine peel is optional, but it’s a nice addition.
– 1 chicken, cut into pieces (about 3 pounds, 1.2kg), or some combination of breasts, legs and thighs to about 3 lbs.
– 1/4 c (50ml) rice wine
– 1/4 c (50 ml) soy sauce
– 1tsp (10ml) salt
– peel from 1 or 2 tangerines
– 2 in (5cm) piece of ginger, sliced thinly
– 3 in (7cm) stick of cinammon
– 1.5 tsp (~20) whole cloves
– 2 whole star anise
– 2 tsp (10ml) whole black or white peppercorns
– 1-1.5 tsp (5-7ml) Sichuan peppercorns
Put all the ingredients into a pot, with enough cold water to cover the chicken. Put a lid on it.
Put the pot onto the stove, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and turn off the heat. Leave covered for another 20 minutes.
Drain the chicken, and remove the meat from the skin and bones. Let it cool, and use it in salad, or on sesame noodles.
The broth will be pretty salty, and strong flavoured — you can reserve it, however, and return it to boil with the bones and cartilage for another 20 minutes. This can be used in sauces, or to add to rice, or elsewhere you might want to add flavour.