Feature

Recipe of the week: Sake-steamed chicken with ginger and scallions

The skin won’t be crispy, but the breast meat will be "as soft as custard,” said Melissa Clark in The New York Times.

Steamed chicken sounds like a “bland diet food,” but throw in some sake and you’ll have a tender, aromatic bird that even sounds exotic, said Melissa Clark in The New York Times. A cheap sake like junmai will do, and the result is the “easiest chicken” ever. The skin won’t be crispy, but with “breast meat as soft as custard” and drumsticks that almost melt in the mouth, it won’t matter.

Sake-steamed chicken with ginger and scallions
One 3½-pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1½ cups dry sake
kosher salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp rice vinegar
1½ tsp lemon juice
1½ tsp mirin or sweet sherry
1 tbsp chopped ginger root
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 thinly sliced scallions
2 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably black

Place a steamer basket in bottom of a large stockpot. Pour in equal amounts of sake and water, enough to reach bottom of steamer basket. Bring to boil.

Generously salt chicken inside and out; set breast side up in steamer basket. Reduce heat to low and cover. Steam chicken until juices run clear when pierced with a knife, about 1 to 1½ hours. Turn off heat. Cool for about 20 minutes.

To prepare sauce, in small bowl whisk together soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, lemon juice, mirin, ginger, and garlic. Remove chicken from pot and place on large cutting board; carve and set pieces on a platter. Spoon some sauce over meat and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serves four.

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