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Steeped Chinese Ginger Chicken in Little Lettuce Cups

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Linda Anusasananan
Linda Anusasananan
This chicken recipe combines two easy recipes adapted from Linda’s book, The Hakka Cookbook, to make a fresh tasting first course or cool summer supper. The chicken is cooked using a no-fuss technique called steeping, which keeps it moist. The accompanying ginger sauce adds a delicate, refined flavor - the perfect compliment to the similarly sophisticated presentation in baby lettuce leaves.

Cooking Recipe

Serves: 6 as main course, 12 as an appetizer

6 thin slices fresh ginger, slightly crushed
2 boned & skinned chicken breast halves (12-16 ounces each), cut in half lengthwise
⅓ cup minced fresh ginger
3 tbsp minced green onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt or to taste
⅓ cup vegetable oil
Small lettuce leaves (iceberg, little gem, butter), rinsed and crisped
Cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

1. In a 5 quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water and ginger slices to a boil. Add the chicken; stir to separate pieces, return to a boil. Cover pan tightly and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, until the chicken is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 12-15 minutes. If still pink, return the chicken to the pan, cover and steep a few minutes longer. Lift out the chicken. Immerse in ice or cold water to cool down quickly, about 5 minutes, then drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a 1½ to 2 cup heatproof bowl, mix the minced ginger, green onion, garlic, and salt. In a 6-8 inch frying pan over high heat, cook the oil until it ripples when the pan is tilted, 1-2 minutes. Pour the hot oil over the ginger mixture (it will bubble vigorously) and mix well. Add salt to taste.

3. With your hands tear the chicken with the grain into coarse shreds and place in a large bowl. Add the ginger-onion sauce and mix with chicken. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro. Offer lettuce leaves alongside the chicken. To eat, spoon the chicken mixture into lettuce cups, roll up and eat.

Chinese Ginger Chicken
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