1. Remove the parson’s nose (also known as the bum or rear end) from the chicken by slicing between the bum and the bottom of the backbone. Locate the wishbone with your fingertips, the crossbow shaped bone is at the top of the chicken breasts, surrounding the neck joint. Once you have found it, poke a small paring knife in through either side of the bone and pull it out with your fingers. Then rub the salt all over the skin of the chicken.
2. Next, make ‘The Poaching Liquid’: peel and finely slice the ginger before roughly chopping the spring onions. Mix the ShaoXing rice wine, light and dark soy sauces and sugar together in a small bowl, and leave to one side.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a very large saucepan or stockpot to a medium-high heat. Add the sliced ginger and spring onion and stir through until the ginger is golden brown and slightly crispy, roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Once the ginger pieces are golden brown, add the star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves to the oil and stir for a further minute. Once you start to smell the aroma of the dry whole spices, increase to a high heat and add the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar mix. Bring the sauce to a vigorous boil and stir through once or twice to melt and caramelise the sugar.
5. Now, carefully place the chicken in the pan, turning the bird over so that all sides are covered in sauce. Continuing to heat over a high heat, baste the chicken by continuously ladling sauce over the meat, turning the bird once more and ladling on the underside too, until the sauce has thickened and looks quite sticky.
6. Next, add the chicken stock to the pan, ensuring that the chicken is entirely covered, andtopping up with hot water from the kettle if needed. Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave for 20 minutes with the lid on. Now turn the heat off completely, but keep the chicken in the hot stock for 40 minutes.
7. While the chicken is resting in the stock, make your ginger and spring onion oil. Finely chop the ginger and spring onions before placing them, along with the salt, in a small serving bowl and mixing together. In a small frying pan or clean wok, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until smoking-hot and then pour it over the ginger and spring onion for it to sizzle. Mix together well and set aside.
8. Once the chicken is ready, carefully remove it from the pan, reserving the cooking liquid, and submerge the bird in a separate pot of cold water for 2 minutes (this will keep the chicken’s skin firm and moist). Then remove and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
9. Traditionally the chicken is served room temperature, sliced and jointed, but laid much like a puzzle, so it still resembles the whole bird on the plate. Once the chicken is presented as you wish, ladle one spoon of the poaching liquid over the plate to act as a sauce, before then garnishing the plate with matchsticks of spring onion, if using. Serve with the ginger and spring onion oil on the side, or drizzled over if preferred - and enjoy!
How To Make Poached Chicken
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