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Ginger-Roasted Chicken

February 2, 2017

gingerchicken_01JANUARY 15th, 2017 — Spent most of December in Southern China, and in Xiamen, my mother and I shared a plate of duck, which I suspect had been braised in soy sauce and then roasted, as evidenced by its dark, crispy skin. What I didn’t expect when we ordered it was the intensity of ginger in the dish. The aroma pervaded throughout all of the meat, and thick slabs of ginger were braised and roasted alongside it.

So what did you do?
For reference, I peeked at some recipes from Martha Stewart and The Woks of Life to get a sense of how people roast chickens with lots of aromatics involved.

I was feeding people at a picnic, so I got 6 drumsticks, 4 thighs, and 2 breasts (cut in halves), to make about 12 small portions.

To make a ginger paste, I finely minced 5 cloves of garlic, and about 4 tablespoons of fresh ginger. I then combined those in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt. I also diced some scallions, and set those aside for later.

I put the chicken pieces on a greased baking tray. With my hands, I loosened the skin on each piece, and then grabbed some of the ginger-garlic mixture and rubbed and spread it underneath the skin. I spread the remaining mixture on the outside of the chicken pieces. I then drizzled and rubbed a rough mixture of 4 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons oil on top of the pieces. I also drizzled a bit of sesame oil on top.

I decided at this time to also top with thinly julienned ginger and about half of the scallions I had chopped. Then I roasted at 450 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

gingerchicken_02The chicken can then be served on top of rice or eaten on its own.

Lessons learned?
Glad I doubled the amount of ginger that I had seen in other ginger recipes, because you could really taste the ginger in each bite with this one.
My attempt back home was not as deep in flavor (probably due to not braising in soy sauce and shaoxing wine, as many Chinese recipes will call for). I also still haven’t nailed crispy skin–probably need to turn up the heat and turn down the timer for that one.

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