Crispy Skinned Chicken, Black Vinegar Caramel. Here it is. I am going to be very pushy and say YOU must make this. OK?
My sister thought she had some kind of training skill with chickens. The chickens lived at Nan’s house next door to our own
Of course this is very fanciful thinking, at least thats what we thought. She spent quite a lot of time training and we mostly paid no attention at all, with the exception of times she was on the roster for washing up ,and wasn’t available due to her packed shedule. On one occasion however she appeared to be concealing some interesting happening in the chicken pen. This of course piqued our interest and we discovered on crashing her next training session, that there was indeed a secret…… a chicken was sitting on 4 eggs and….. we all wanted to reserve one. Once the chicks had hatched we each chose a a baby that we now decided to spend time with just like my younger sister. ( It was never a certainty that chickens couldn’t be trained). We were not allowed to remove the babies in order to bring them to our rooms as Mum insisted Twinkle ( the cat) would eat them. ( ……..sure Mum).
Our sudden interest in the chickens must have annoyed her slightly, but she had to make room for us. (we were older and bigger) As the chicks grew we became slightly less interested and left their training and welfare to her. When they were scrawny teenagers it became clear that my oldest sisters’ chicken was not a chicken at all. He was an unwelcome non- egg layer . There can only be one Rooster in a pen and this meant her pet had to go. One day at dinner sitting around the table with Dad carving the chicken my sister suddenly piped up and asked Dad what shop the chicken had come from. The rest of us were oblivious gnawing on our chicken and mashed potato, the proof that she was always brighter than us,because this dinner was her pet chicken. She did not speak to Dad for some time and decided then, that she would become Vegetarian. She is still to this day not so fond of most meat. The rest of the chickens grew into hens with only my youngest sister training them.
I can only say that Dad didn’t make this recipe………..
This recipe is based on one that Charlie Louie from Hotly Spiced posted some weeks ago. It’s been adapted a little so here goes.
Crispy skinned Chicken, Black Vinegar Caramel
- 2 SKIN ON thigh fillets per person.
- 2 litres water
- 750 ml Shoaxing wine 1 bottle
- 125 ml light soy
- 75 ml dark soy
- 100 gm yellow rock candy
- 2 pieces dried citrus peel from Asian store
- 2 pieces of cassia bark
- 4 whole star anise
- 1 large ginger sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
Five Spice Salt
- 1 Tablespoon white peppercorns
- 1 Tablespoon five spice
- 3 Tablespoons flaked sea salt
Black Vinegar Caramel
- 200 gm white sugar 1 cup
- 60 ml water 3 tablespoons
- 125 ml black Vinegar ** ( chinkiang 1/2 cup )
- 10 ml light soy 2 teaspoons
- 150 gm carrot grated, (1 cup)
- 300 gm White cabbage finely sliced
- 50 gm Spanish onion fine sliced
- 2 cups mixed herbs (coriander mint, thai basil, vietnamese mint)
- 50 gm rice noodles cooked
- 50 gm peanuts crushed roasted.
- 500 ml peanut oil or vegetable oil
- If making Masterstock for the first time put all of the Masterstock ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes. If using a stored masterstock skim off any fat and bring up to a boil before using again
- Crush the white pepper corns until a fine powder. Add the five spice and sea salt and grind until fine. Set aside
- To make the black vinegar caramel, put all of the ingredients (sugar, vinegar, soy, water) into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for several minutes until it is reduced by 1/3.
- To cook the chicken : Slip the chicken into the stock and turn the heat to simmer. Once the liquid has come back to a simmer, turn it off, put the lid on and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. Lift a thigh out and cut through the thickest part of the thigh to check it is cooked through.
- Scoop out all of the chicken. set the stock aside to strain and refrigerate to use again. Meanwhile lay the chicken on a try . The secret to this dish is dry skin. the dryer the skin the crispier it will be when it is recooked before serving.
- Leave the chicken for a few hours or overnight (in the fridge uncovered) . If you aren't able to do this, wipe the skin with a paper towel ( the drier the skin the crispier the result).
- The chicken is nicest shallow fried. Heat a deep fry pan and add 1/2 cups of peanut or vegetable oil. Dip the chicken in the five spice mix both sides, and shallow fry the pieces skin side first until crispy and brown. Turn over and fry briefly. Serve with the salad tossed with a little of the vinegar caramel and a side of sauce.
- !!!Masterstock can be kept indefinitely and reused each time you want to poach. Bring it back to the boil after using and strain. Keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it for later use. Use the stock to cook chicken wings, breasts, quail, whole chicken or duck, duck breasts, spatchcock or pork ribs.