Five-Spice Roast Chicken- White Rice in Chicken Stock-Garlic Chili
Round-up for the week: Andy and Julie threw a huge Christmas party/pre-birthday bash for me this past weekend. Sadly, on that day, I lost a battle to the flu. I laid in bed all day, praying my germ-marinated immune system would miraculously cook off this plague. For every hour that I was awake, hearing the sound of Andy pulsing, grinding and pureeing things in preparation the party, I became less inclined to take part in all the fun things in the kitchen. Making finger foods, being social and attempting to entertain became a chore.
Now, I am up to my eyeballs with work, writing my blog entries, responding to emails, sending thank you notes for the glorious wine gifts, planning for New Year‘s dinner, and re-organizing the kitchen. With every thought of work, my head becomes heavier and heavier. And at every breath, it feels as if fire infused my nostrils. My stomach does this queasy thing. It’s all rather unpleasant.
And yet, I am still alive and kicking. My spirits are soaring high and I am enjoying the best of being in a new decade. It’s a time when I can look back and tell my friends all the silly things I’ve done in the past years and not be embarrassed. Though I’ve aged gracefully, I certainly don’t feel my youth dissipating. My advancement in age has not changed my personality or the way I feel about myself. The glories of doing what I do best, cooking and enjoying the best of what life has to offer, has diminished old age and misery.
I was on a mission to make a five-spiced roast chicken, one that makes life worth living. I began the process by simmering the chicken in chicken broth for 25 minutes. Then, I let the chicken sit in the stock overnight. At this point, the chicken is half-cooked. After removing the chicken from the stock, I marinated the chicken with Sichuan peppers, ground anise, cloves, cinnamon, and fennel, salt and oil. The chicken was placed in a roasting pan and put in the oven for 45 minutes up to an hour.
The formula for a happy and moist chicken is cooking the chicken twice, a culinary ritual popularized in Indonesian and Malaysian cooking. The chicken remains super tender and leaks a ton of flavor. Serve this with rice cooked in chicken stock, and it gets even more glorious. Somethings are worth putting an effort for despite how terrible you might feel.
Here’s how you make it.
Five-Spice Roast Chicken-White Rice in Chicken Stock-Garlic Chili
For the Chicken
1 whole free-range chicken
Chicken broth (enough to cover the chicken)
1 piece of ginger (6-8 cm), sliced
3-4 cloves of whole garlic
1 cinnamon stick
2 anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon of fennel
1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns
1) In a large pot, pour in chicken broth.
2) Add garlic cloves, ginger, and the chicken.
3) Bring to a gentle simmer (about 25 minutes).
4) Turn the heat off and let the chicken marinate in the stock for at least eight hours or overnight.
5) Preheat the oven at 375.
6) Grind the dry spices and set aside in an air tight container.
7) Remove the chicken from the stock and place it on a sheet pan.
8) Gently rub the dry spices all over the chicken and in the creases.
9) Season with salt.
10) Place the chicken in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour.
11) Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest on the cutting board at room temperature for about 20 minutes before carving.
For the Rice
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 cups of uncooked Jasmine rice
2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 piece of ginger (4-5 cm), roughly chopped
2-3 pandan (screwpine) leaves
3 cups of hot chicken stock
salt to taste
Chopped scallions for garnish
1) Bring a medium-sized pot to heat and pour in 2 tablespoons of peanut oil.
2) Toss in the shallots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the rice and toast. Do not brown the rice.
4) Add the garlic, ginger and pandan leaves. Mix well.
5) Pour in the chicken stock.
6) When the stock comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid.
7) Cook for 20 minutes or until water has evaporated.
8) Mix in the salt and scallions.
For the Garlic Chili Sauce
2-4 red Holland chilies
1 clove of garlic
1 piece of ginger (2cm), skin removed
1-2 teaspoons of chicken fat, reserved from the chicken stock
salt to taste
Grind all ingredients in blender.
Place a spoonful of rice on a plate. Carve the chicken to the desired size and place over the rice. Pour the chili sauce on the side and serve at room temperature.