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The Ultimate Comfort Food: Chinese Steam Whole Chicken Recipe

Craving some comforting and delicious food? Look no further than Chinese steamed chicken. By steaming the chicken with an array of mouth-watering ingredients, you'll have a tender and juicy dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

A whole chicken steaming in a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices

To make Chinese steamed chicken, you'll need to start by selecting high-quality ingredients, including a whole chicken, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and green onions. Once you have your ingredients, you'll need to prepare them by chopping and mincing the ginger and garlic, and mixing them with the soy sauce and green onions.

Next, you'll need to steam the chicken for around 45 minutes, until it is cooked through and tender. The result is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese steamed chicken is a healthy and delicious way to prepare a whole chicken.
  • Select high-quality ingredients, including ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and green onions.
  • Steam the chicken for around 45 minutes to achieve a tender and juicy result.

Selecting Ingredients

A hand reaches for a whole chicken, ginger, and scallions. Steam rises from a pot in a Chinese kitchen

When it comes to preparing a delicious Chinese steamed chicken, selecting the right ingredients is crucial. In this section, we'll discuss two key aspects of ingredient selection: choosing the right chicken and selecting essential Chinese seasonings.

Choosing the Right Chicken

To make a succulent steamed chicken, it is important to choose the right type of chicken. Free-range chicken is the best option as it is more flavourful and tender. You can also use chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken if you prefer.

Essential Chinese Seasonings

To achieve the authentic Chinese flavour in your steamed chicken, you'll need to use a combination of essential Chinese seasonings. These include ginger, green onions, salt, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and sherry.

You can also add dried shiitake mushrooms, goji berries, dried lily flowers, and wood ear mushrooms to enhance the flavour and texture of the dish. Additionally, you may consider adding seafood such as prawns or scallops to the recipe to give it a unique twist.

Make sure to marinate the chicken overnight with the seasonings to allow the flavours to fully infuse into the meat. Stuffing the chicken cavity with ginger, garlic, and green onions will also maximise the flavour.

In summary, selecting the right chicken and essential Chinese seasonings are key to making a delicious steamed chicken. Don't be afraid to experiment with additional ingredients such as seafood to create your own unique version of this classic dish.

Preparation Techniques

A whole chicken is being steamed in a traditional Chinese kitchen, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices. The steam rises from the pot, creating a tantalizing aroma

Cleaning and Marinating the Chicken

When preparing a Chinese-style steamed chicken, it is important to start with a fresh and clean bird. Begin by rinsing the chicken under cold running water, making sure to remove any excess fat or feathers. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and set it aside.

Next, prepare the marinade for the chicken. In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies. For best results, let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight if possible.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can try using shrimp or scallops as a tasty addition to the marinade. Simply chop them up into small pieces and mix them in with the other ingredients.

Preparing the Steamer

To steam the chicken, you will need a large steamer basket or pot with a lid. Fill the bottom of the steamer with water, making sure that it does not touch the bottom of the basket or pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the chicken for steaming. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place it in the steamer basket or pot. Add a few slices of young ginger on top of the chicken, and sprinkle with ground white pepper.

Once the water is boiling, carefully place the steamer basket or pot on top of the pot. Cover with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam the chicken for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

If you want to add more flavour to the chicken, you can try adding some seafood to the steamer basket or pot. Shrimp or scallops work well, and will cook in the same amount of time as the chicken. Simply place them on top of the chicken before steaming.

Cooking Process

Whole chicken steams in a Chinese kitchen, surrounded by traditional ingredients and utensils

Steaming the Chicken

To begin with, you will need a whole chicken that has been cleaned and prepared. You can either use boneless or bone-in chicken, but the latter is preferred in Chinese cuisine as it adds more flavour to the dish.

Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, and rice wine for at least 30 minutes before steaming. Place the chicken on a plate and steam it for about 45 minutes or until it is fully cooked.

Make sure to check the chicken's internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure that it has reached at least 165°F (74°C). Once the chicken is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes before carving it into pieces.

Making the Dipping Sauce and Garnishes

While the chicken is steaming, you can prepare the dipping sauce and garnishes. A simple dipping sauce can be made by mixing soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chopped green onions.

As for the garnishes, you can chop some green onions and cilantro to sprinkle on top of the chicken. If you want to add a seafood twist to the dish, you can also serve it with some steamed shrimp or scallops on the side.

To complete the meal, serve the steamed chicken with some steamed rice and a glass of rice wine. The steamed chicken is tender, juicy, and delicious, with a steamed texture that is perfect for a healthy meal.

Serving Suggestions

A whole chicken steams in a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices

Accompaniments

When serving your Chinese steamed whole chicken, there are a variety of accompaniments that can complement your dish. Steamed rice is a classic pairing with steamed chicken, and can be served plain or with added ingredients such as mushrooms or dried lily.

For a more substantial meal, consider serving your steamed chicken with a side of stir-fried vegetables. Bok choy or Chinese broccoli are great options that can add a pop of colour to your plate.

If you prefer a more savoury accompaniment, consider a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, julienned ginger, and a splash of peanut oil. This sauce will add a zing of flavour to your chicken and enhance its natural taste.

Presentation Tips

When it comes to presentation, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your dish looks as good as it tastes.

Firstly, consider the plate you will be using. A simple white plate can help your chicken stand out and create a clean, elegant look.

Next, think about the garnish you will be using. A few sprigs of fresh herbs such as coriander or parsley can add a pop of colour and freshness to your dish.

Finally, consider using a cornstarch and vegetable oil mixture to create a smooth and fragrant glaze on your chicken. This will not only enhance the flavour of your dish, but also give it a glossy, professional look.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also consider adding seafood to your steamed chicken recipe. Shrimp or scallops can be a great addition and can be steamed alongside your chicken. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure everything is cooked to perfection.

Nutritional Information

A whole steamed chicken surrounded by traditional Chinese ingredients, with a label displaying its nutritional information

If you're looking for a healthy and delicious way to enjoy chicken, then steaming a whole chicken Chinese-style is a fantastic option. Not only is it a low-fat cooking method, but it also helps to retain the nutrients and flavour of the chicken.

Chicken meat is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc.

When you steam a whole chicken, you end up with a tender and velvety meat that is packed with umami flavour. This is because steaming allows the chicken to cook slowly and gently, resulting in a juicy and flavourful meat that is sure to please your taste buds.

If you're looking to add a bit of variety to your steamed chicken recipe, you could consider adding some seafood to the mix. For example, you could add some prawns or scallops to the chicken cavity before steaming. This will add a delicious seafood flavour to the chicken and make it even more nutritious.

Overall, steaming a whole chicken Chinese-style is a fantastic way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal that is packed with flavour and nutrients. So why not give it a try and see for yourself how delicious and nutritious it can be?

Cultural Significance

A whole chicken steaming in a bamboo basket, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices, symbolizing the cultural significance of traditional Chinese cuisine

If you are a fan of Chinese cuisine, then you must have come across steamed chicken. Steaming is one of the most popular cooking techniques in Chinese cuisine, and it is used to prepare a wide range of dishes, including steamed fish, dumplings, and buns. Steamed chicken is a nostalgic dish that is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. In this section, we will explore the cultural significance of steamed chicken in Chinese cuisine.

The Role of Steamed Chicken in Chinese Cuisine

In Chinese culture, a whole chicken is a symbol of unity and completeness. It is often served during special occasions, such as weddings and Chinese New Year celebrations. Steaming a whole chicken is a traditional cooking method that is believed to preserve the natural flavour and nutrients of the meat. Chinese steamed chicken is often served with a dipping sauce made from ginger, scallions, and soy sauce.

Regional Variations

Steamed chicken is a popular dish in Cantonese cuisine, which is a style of Chinese cuisine that originates from the Guangdong province in Southern China. Cantonese steamed chicken is often served with a sauce made from oyster sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce. However, there are many regional variations of steamed chicken throughout China. For example, in Sichuan cuisine, steamed chicken is often served with a spicy sauce made from Sichuan peppercorns and chilli oil.

If you are looking to add a twist to your steamed chicken recipe, you can try using seafood as a suggestion. For instance, you can add some shrimp or scallops to your steamed chicken dish. Huang Kitchen's Angie Liew suggests that you can add some dried scallops or dried shrimp to your steamed chicken recipe to give it a unique flavour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to achieve that authentic Cantonese flavour when steaming a whole chicken?

To achieve an authentic Cantonese flavour when steaming a whole chicken, it's important to use the right ingredients. Ginger, garlic, and green onions are commonly used in Cantonese cuisine and are a must when steaming a whole chicken. You can also add soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and oyster sauce to the marinade for an extra kick of flavour. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use dried shiitake mushrooms or dried scallops to enhance the flavour.

How long should I steam a whole chicken to ensure it's fully cooked but still moist?

The steaming time for a whole chicken depends on the size of the chicken. As a general rule, you should steam a 1.5 kg chicken for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. To ensure the chicken is fully cooked but still moist, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. The temperature should reach 75°C in the thickest part of the chicken.

Can you share some tips for keeping a steamed whole chicken juicy and flavourful?

To keep your steamed whole chicken juicy and flavourful, it's important to marinate the chicken overnight. This allows the flavours to penetrate the meat and keeps the chicken moist during steaming. You can also stuff the chicken with ginger, garlic, and green onions to enhance the flavour. Another tip is to baste the chicken with the marinade during steaming to keep it moist.

Is there a simple method for steaming a whole chicken that still delivers great taste?

Yes, there is a simple method for steaming a whole chicken that still delivers great taste. Marinate the chicken overnight with ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and oyster sauce. Stuff the chicken with the same ingredients and steam it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Baste the chicken with the marinade during steaming to keep it moist.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when steaming a whole chicken at home?

One common mistake when steaming a whole chicken is overcooking it. This can result in dry and tough meat. Another mistake is not marinating the chicken long enough. Marinating the chicken overnight is essential for flavour and moisture. Finally, not basting the chicken with the marinade during steaming can also result in dry meat.

Could you suggest any side dishes that pair well with a Chinese-style steamed whole chicken?

Chinese-style steamed whole chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include steamed vegetables such as broccoli or bok choy, fried rice, and steamed rice. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can serve it with steamed shrimp or scallops.