Tuesday, December 6, 2011

5-course Chinese Dinner

"My sister's coming over dinner!"

That means it was time for all the bells and whistles. I went directly to my Jacky Yu Food Life Attitude 2009 cookbook because I want to make a Chinese meal that had modern twists. The dinner was on Sunday and I picked the dishes and sent it to her on Wednesday. That's how excited I was. The meal was definitely well balanced as it contained vegetables, meat, and seafood. Here are the items we made:

Homemade spicy pickles
Clams in sake with noodles
Mustard greens in chicken stock with salted and thousand year eggs
Fried prawn in Thai basil and salted egg yolk sauce
Crispy roasted chicken scented with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

If this is not a full course Chinese meal, I don't know what is. After the meal was served, we went at it like a pack of hungry wolves. Ok. Maybe just a pack of hungry corgis.

The highlight was definitely the chicken which was ultra fragrant. And here is the recipe.
You first marinate the chicken with 4tbsp dark soy, 2tbsp rice wine, and 2tbsp sesame oil. Rub the inside and out with 2 tbsp of sea salt and stuff it with 4 stalks of lemongrass and a big handful of lime leaves chopped. Marinade it overnight in a ziploc bag. The next day, take out the chicken and wrap it in aluminum foil. It then needs to be roasted first at 250C for 90 min. After, remove the chicken and preheat oven to 520C with the cast iron pan. Unwrap the foil while trying to save the juices as the sauce. Remove all the lemongrass and leaves from inside the chicken and place the bird on the hot cast iron a la Bittman style. Roast it for 10-15 minutes. That's what gave it the perfect colour and crispiness of the skin. Let it sit for 10 minutes for all the juices to settle and then cut and serve with the reserved liquids. When you taste it, you can really appreciate the infusion of lemongrass and lime leaves.
This dish will surely be on the menu the next time my parents are over for dinner. Who knew a simple roast chicken can be so impressive.






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