mmm, i really like this recipe. this is the second time i made it, and it was great!
1 (3- to 3 1/2-lb) whole chicken (with head and feet if desired), neck (if without head) and giblets reserved for another use if desired
1 bunch scallions, halved crosswise
2 oz Smithfield or other cured ham (1 piece or sliced), trimmed of any spice coating
6 (1/4-inch-thick) round slices peeled fresh ginger
14 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 bunch scallions (white and pale green parts only), cut into very thin 2-inch strips
3 tablespoons light soy sauce (preferably Pearl River Bridge brand)
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely grated (with a rasp) peeled fresh ginger
Rinse chicken inside and out, then bend legs to tuck feet (if still attached) inside cavity. Stuff cavity with scallions, ham, and ginger.
Bring water with salt to a boil in a deep 7- to 8-quart stockpot or pasta pot. Add chicken, breast side down (chicken may not be completely covered with liquid), then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 30 minutes. Turn chicken over and let stand, covered, 15 minutes more (chicken will be cooked through).
While chicken stands, fill a large bowl three-fourths full with ice and cold water. Carefully remove chicken from pot with a large slotted spoon and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Let stand, gently turning over once (be careful not to tear skin), until cool, about 10 minutes total. Carefully transfer to a cutting board and discard scallions, ham, and ginger from cavity. Pat dry. Rub skin with sesame oil.
Make dipping sauce:
Stir together scallions and soy sauce in a small heatproof bowl.
Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water vaporizes instantly. Pour oil around side of wok, then tilt wok to swirl oil, coating sides. When oil just begins to smoke, carefully add ginger (oil will spatter) and stir-fry 30 seconds. Immediately remove from heat and pour over scallion mixture, stirring to combine (scallions will wilt).
To cut and serve chicken on a platter (Chinese restaurant–style), cut off the head and neck (if attached) with a cleaver and put at one end of a large platter. (These parts, along with the back and feet, aren’t always eaten.) Cut off the feet. Cut off the drumsticks and thighs, then cut crosswise through the boneinto 1-inch pieces. Place the feet and leg meat at the other end of the platter. Cut off the wings, separating them at the joints, and put on the sides of the platter. Cut through the ribs, separating breast from back, then cut the backbone crosswise into 3 pieces and put them in the center of the platter. (Striking the cleaver with a rubber mallet makes the cuts clean.) Cut the breast crosswise through the bone into 1-inch pieces and arrange on the back. Alternatively, cut chicken according to procedure and mound pieces in a bowl.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons dipping sauce over chicken and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature, with remaining dipping sauce on the side.
• Chicken can be cooked and rubbed with sesame oil (but not cut) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
• Chicken can be cut up and arranged on platter 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving. Drizzle with dipping sauce just before serving.
• Dipping sauce can be made 4 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
comments: this recipe is tasty and pretty easy. it takes a little while, but mostly you just leave it in the pot. the chicken comes out nice and juicy with nice flavor, and the sauce is delicious. the amount they tell you to make isn’t that much though, so i think it’s better to double it. oh, also i used bacon instead of ham.
i also like making this because i save the water i cooked the chicken in, and after i cut up the chicken, i boil the bones to get TASTY DELICIOUS BROTH. it’s like yummy liquid gold!