I often wonder why people cook chicken by any other method than this traditional Chinese one, technically a poach-braise. It delivers beautifully tender meat—and it couldn’t be easier. Simply put a chicken in a pot with stock and flavorings, simmer it until it’s partially cooked, then remove it from the heat. The bird finishes cooking in the hot liquid and emerges perfectly done. The chicken’s almost fat-free, having left most of its fat in the stock. Serve with crusty bread. For more one-pot recipes, read the original article, One-Pot Meals for Quick, Healthy Cooking.
• 4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 2 large carrots, peeled and roll-cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or cut conventionally
• 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 star anise
• 2 tablespoons minced ginger
• 1/2 cup naturally brewed soy or wheat-free tamari sauce
• 2 quarts fresh chicken or vegetable stock or low-sodium canned broth, plus extra, if needed
• Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
• One 5- to 6-pound whole chicken, wing tips folded over the back
1. In a stockpot or large Dutch oven, combine celery, carrots, onions, peppercorns, bay, thyme, parsley, star anise, ginger and soy sauce. Add stock. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pot breast side up. It should be completely covered with stock, but if not, add more.
3. Cover and bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and barely simmer for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and let pot stand, covered, 30 minutes to 1 hour (the chicken won’t cook further after 30 minutes). Remove chicken and strain broth, reserving vegetables. Carve chicken and serve with vegetables and bowls of broth. Star Anise-Ginger Braised Whole Chicken serves 4.
Adapted from Simply Ming: One-Pot Meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm.
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