This is the first time that I have made a crispy skin spiced chicken. My partner and I love it so much that I am going to share with you. I have found this recipe in an old Chinese cooking book in my cupboard. But, I never follow the exact ingredients and measures. I like to use a cooking book only as a guide, understand the technique and process to make the dish.
In the recipe, a whole duck is used. Because I don’t have a whole duck, I substitute with a Tasmanian “Growenewald” free range chicken. The recipe asked to marinate the meat in chinese cooking wine, red peppercorn, star anise, ginger and spring onion. I added a few other things for added flavour. The meat is marinated, cooked by steaming, then let cool until dry, and deep fried until the skin is browned and crispy. The meat is then shredded and served with a bit of sweet sauce (like Hoi Sin) in a chinese pancake wrapper. I didn’t have the pancake wrapper, so I improvised by serving the meat in a bed of baby spinach (fried in virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and sprinkle of sea salt) and cauliflower puree (see the Recipe Page).
The chicken skin is thin and crispy, flesh is soft and tender, tangy in flavour from the infused spices of peppercorn, star anise and ginger. It is really good. I will try again next time with a duck for comparison.
I wish that I have taken a photo of the chicken at each step of the process. Step 1 – Marinate, Step 2 – Steam and Step 3 – Fried. Unfortunately, I have not done it. I was not sure if my improvised recipe will work. So next time when I try on a duck (when I can get hold of one in Hobart), I will take some photos of the process involved.
Mix the following ingredients:
1 tablespoon red peppercorn (aka Szechuan Peppercorn) – grounded
2 star anise – grounded
1 big piece ginger – finely chopped
8 spring onions (white section) – finely chopped
5 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Sprinkle of crushed sea salt
Marinade a whole chicken by rubbing the ingredients inside and outside of the meat.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
Place on a tray, breast side up.
Put in a steamer (I used wok and a lid) filled with water. Keep checking to make sure there is sufficient water during the steaming process.
Steam the chicken for 1 1/2 hour.
Remove the chicken and let it cool down.
Place in the refrigerator until the chicken is cool and dry.
Heat up a wok with enough cooking oil to deep fry the chicken.
Immerse the chicken and deep fry until the skin is browned and crispy (I cut the chicken into 4 portions to fry separately).
Remove and let excess oil drained before serving.
You can serve the crispy skin spiced chicken anyway you like. It is nice by itself with a bit of Thai sweet chili sauce. Maybe you can even try with 1 kg of chicken wing! Same marinade. 🙂
Enjoy your meal!