Tea-Soaked Drunken Chicken With Cilantro-Scallion Oil
Made from fermented glutinous brown rice, Shaoxing wine is what gives this dish its slightly sweet flavor and nutty fragrance. The dish relies heavily on the wine's aroma and flavor, so if you can’t find it, substitute with a good quality dry sherry (a Manzanilla variety will work well). Here, the chicken is poached instead of simmered, guaranteeing a moist bird that soaks in the flavor of its cooking liquid. But if it's a more intense flavor you're looking for, allow the chicken to chill in the poaching liquid overnight.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1 ½cups short-grain brown rice
- 2cups Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 5unflavored black tea bags (such as English breakfast)
- 3tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 3tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 1(5-inch) piece ginger, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 1tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 4boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 pound each)
- ½cup coarsely chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- ½cup coarsely chopped scallions
- ½cup safflower or other neutral oil
- 1tablespoon lime juice
- Black pepper
Step 1In a medium saucepan, combine rice and 2 1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until all of the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Step 2As rice cooks, combine wine, tea bags, salt, sugar, ginger, peppercorns and 2 cups of water in another medium saucepan, and mix well. Add chicken (make sure it is completely submerged) and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off the heat and let stand until cooked through, about 15 minutes (poaching time may vary by a few minutes if chicken breast is smaller or larger than 1/2 pound). Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Discard the poaching liquid.
Step 3Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cilantro, scallions, oil and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Step 4Slice chicken and serve with brown rice and cilantro-scallion oil.