Monday, January 21, 2008

Sesame oil and ginger chicken - another comfort favorite

For the past one month since the move, there was nothing elaborate happening in this small basic kitchen. I had to re-stock my empty pantry and the fridge; and had to find my way around the supermarket here. I'm too used to the Trader Joes layout while still in Sunnyvale where I could find what I want even in a smaller store then. Even the Costco warehouse shopping here needs some getting used to. You know what - I wanted to turn to simple wonton making weeks ago - to seek comfort, but I could not even find wonton skins wrappers in a relatively large supermarket like Carrefour over here in central Taiwan. There were wontons but all were ready made frozen ones which I did not like. I miss wrapping my own! For a while now, I stayed with simple cooking and comfort foods. My comfort foods such as chicken macaroni and chicken congee - I have been eating the former quite often. Another dish that is no fancy but just pure simple homecooked food is Sesame Oil and Ginger Chicken - my Monthy Mingle - Comfort Foods.

No matter how often I eat comfort foods, I never got get sick of them. Due to the ease of preparation and cooking in comfort foods, I never got sick of them as well. Yes, cooking has become somewhat a chore in the past one month as I had to deal with the move, packing, unpacking and some bits of disorientation, all at the same time. Fortunately for comfort foods, I'm still able to find some joy in enjoying my own simple cooking and when it is definitely not a cooking chore.

Sesame oil and ginger chicken
-~ 8-12 pieces small chicken drumlets/wings, marinated in 1tbsp oyster sauce at least 2hrs
- 4 caps fresh shitake mushrooms, cut to halfs or comparable to size of drumlets/wings
- 2 garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, julienned to strips
- 4 thumb-sized young ginger cut to fine strips
- 1tbsp sesame oil
- white pepper to taste

- 1tbsp sesame oil
- 1tsp cooking rice wine
- 2tbsp some water or adjust accordingly

1. Heat 1tbsp sesame oil in pan/wok at low-medium heat
2. Add in garlic, scallions and ginger to the pan/wok, fry till aromatic
3. Add in chicken and mushrooms, then fry at medium-high heat for about 3-4mins.
4. Add in seasonings, mix and fry well, then turn to simmer till chicken is cooked. This will take about 3-5mins (if using small chicken parts)
5. When ready to serve, dash in white pepper, dashes of more sesame oil, and sprinkle of cooking rice wine, then immediately turn off the heat.

There are many ways and variations to cook the dish and this happens to be another of my version - where sesame oil and ginger are the stars that make the chicken shine!

Other easy chicken recipes that you won't chicken-out in the face of it, has got to be steamed chicken with ginger and braised chicken with assorted mushrooms.

What is your comfort food or comfort foods?

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