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Poached until tender, this Cantonese-style chicken breast is topped with a zingy, punchy ginger and spring onion dressing. Serve on a bed of Jasmine rice and a side of steamed greens for an authentic experience. See method
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Season the chicken with 2 tsp fine salt. Fill a large, lidded saucepan (big enough to hold the chicken) with water and bring to a rolling boil with 100g spring onions, the sliced ginger and the Szechuan peppercorns (if using). Holding the legs, place the chicken into the water, breast-side down. Top up with boiling water as needed – don’t worry if it floats a little – and half-cover with a lid. Simmer briskly for 30-35 mins, turning the chicken halfway through. Test that the chicken is cooked: the juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the leg, and it should be 70-75°C on a meat thermometer.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Reserve the remaining spring onion greens and finely chop the whites. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan over a high heat until smoking hot, then add the chopped ginger. Cook for 30-45 secs until golden, add the chopped spring onion and repeat. Remove from the heat; stir in 2 tbsp sesame oil and 3-4 tbsp of the hot chicken broth to make a thick but spoonable sauce. Set aside.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Remove the chicken from the broth and place in the ice water for 10 mins, turning halfway through, to stop it cooking. Drain well and pat dry. Brush with 2 tbsp sesame oil, then set aside to rest.
Meanwhile, put the rice in a lidded saucepan with 400ml strained chicken broth; season. Cover, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low and cook for 15-18 mins until the broth is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 mins.
It’s traditional to eat the chicken skin, but discard it if you prefer. Carve the chicken and serve with the rice. Spoon over a few ladles of warm broth, add the spring onion and ginger sauce, then top with the finely sliced reserved spring onion greens. Serve with steamed greens, and soy and chilli sauces, if you like.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Freeze cooked chicken only. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.
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