Monday, January 23, 2012

Chestnuts Chicken with Five-Spice 五香栗子焖鸡

My first attempt of roasting chestnuts was not very successful as I did not manage to get whole chestnuts from the shell after they were roasted (cooked). As the chestnuts were already crumbled bits after I shell them, it became part of the inspiration of this Chestnuts Chicken with Five-Spice 五香栗子焖鸡.


These crumbled disintegrated chestnuts shall be like potato, to naturally.thicken up the gravy of this dish.

However, the flavor that these chestnuts impart to the dish, is unlike potato. Very different in fact. The flavors were generally balanced with sweetness from the carrots and caramelized shallots, fusing into savory soy-based sauce spiked with cloves, star anise and five-spice powder; and the chestnuts lending nutty sweet notes to the entire dish.


Imperfections can turn perfect sometimes, isn't it? The bite-size chestnuts actually render the sauce/gravy more perfect in terms of consistency and flavors. Together with the soft-tender carrots and peas, the bite-size chestnuts absolutely fitted in harmonizing in textures.



Chestnuts Chicken with Five-Spice 五香栗子焖鸡
Heat some oil in the wok and sweat 1 medium-size shallot thinly sliced, 2 thin slices of ginger, 3 cloves, 1/2 star anise, before adding 1 carrot chopped to bite-sizes, and thinly sliced garlic. Once the shallots turn translucent, add 3 organic chicken wings (already lightly marinated with 1tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine, 1tsp light soy sauce and dash of five-spice powder) and let them brown at the surface in the wok (do not move them around while browning takes place). After about 5mins, add some water (chicken partially immersed in the liquid), add 1tsp light soy sauce, another dash of five-spice powder and let the chicken with other ingredients cook and simmer in low-medium heat for about 20-30 mins. When the chicken is cooked and sauce slightly reduced, add in 8 cooked chestnuts and handful of thawed green peas. Gently stir and combine well, continue to simmer for about 5mins. Salt and ground white pepper to taste and garnish with thinly sliced red chili.


Delicious!

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