2 years ago when we were in this apartment, I would frequent a small butcher shop down the street. For old times sake I decided to pay him a window shopping visit and, refusing to consider the duck parts still awaiting attention in the apartment freezer, bought a little chicken. There was NO chicken in my freezers, NONE. Just a lot of duck and sundry.
More and more I find that I prefer little chickens (poussin or young chickens) to the gargantuan American chickens I was so pleased to buy before I began to travel. I think this, practically, an aversion to large chickens began when on one “home-leave” I excitedly bought a Perdue Oven Stuffer and noticed the pig-like slabs of fat all over the entire bird. I spent a bit of time ripping these away and have since never purchased neither Perdue nor Tyson chicken products. Bleah!
I wanted to poach my chicken in soy sauce heedless of the fact that I didn’t have all the ingredients in my paltry, apartment pantry. Peu importe! List in hand, in the pouring rain, dog on leash, umbrella in one hand, dog bag in the other, I marched several blocks to the supermarket, awkwardly stopping for dog toilet breaks along the way. On arrival I removed my wallet from the dog bag, stuffed the dog in the bag, put the bag in the shopping cart with the umbrella. There was a sign, but I don’t read German and anyway I thought that maybe, like in France, signs are only guidelines :D
At first Jessie, semi-quietly, played with her squeaky toy in the bag, then she whined, then she accelerated to a howl and finally, incessant barking. Everyone looked at me; most people sympathetically but some really old, ill-tempered, Prussians glared. I was approached by a store employee but that was just to make sure a dog wasn’t running rampant in the store. She said something in German and I responded that I would be quick, to which she nodded her head and smiled.
With blood curdling wails coming from my basket, I approached the worker in the vegetable section to ask for fresh ginger. Language and hearing impaired, I gave it up as a bad job and just looked around. They had gorgeous fresh garlic! Probably imported from France but this was no time to read labels! When I finally got in line for the cashier, two people ushered me in front of them. It was as good as having an annoying child in tow :D
I loved making the poaching liquid. It’s too bad that I had to pour most of it out because it would be great for later addition to soups and noodles. I used one Hunan/Szechwan-like chilli for adults to flavor the liquid. Two wouldn’t have hurt that much.
While waiting for the poaching liquid to mature, I decided to do a quick, noodle stir fry using a leftover, cooked duck leg.
Sometimes good ideas are so good!
Soy Sauce Poached Chicken with Noodles
1 cup normal soy sauce
1/2 cup Tamari soy sauce
6 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sherry
1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced
1/4 bulb fresh garlic
1 large scallion, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 red chilli, halved
1 small whole chicken
Put everything but the chicken into a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chicken, cover, then simmer for 15 minutes, turn, then simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove the chicken, strain the liquid and reserve.
Cut the chicken into serving pieces, ladle over hot broth and sprinkle with sliced scallions.
Duck Noodle Stir Fry
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 bulb fresh garlic, chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, quartered vertically, thinly sliced
2 scallions, sliced
2 slices fresh ginger, julienned
1 cooked duck leg, meat removed and thinly sliced
1/2 small head broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
1 pkg plain instant noodles (3 slabs), cooked
Mix the chilli sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sherry together. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to blend. Set aside.
Heat the oils together in a wok, then add the garlic, chilli, carrot, scallions and ginger. Stir fry for a minute or two. Add the duck and broccoli and noodles, then continue to stir fry for another minute. Add the sauce and stir until thickened and heated through.