Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crispy skin chicken/ Happy Birthday Make-do Mum!

Posting about fried chicken is a crowd pleaser! What could be more delicious? This was pretty good, and quite the mid week treat. For some reason if our family gets takeaways mid week (the adults at least) it is always on a Wednesday. Given that I spent every spare moment today painting the bathroom I'm fairly pleased I pulled this off!

I'm also pleased because this blog is a year old!  When I first started it was a place to put recipes requested by friends.  Over the last year I've added many recipes from my personal stash, and had a fair few food adventures.  I've enjoyed learning cheese making, charcuterie and processed a giant box of citrus.  I wonder where I got the time?!!   Thanks to those who have followed, commented or just plain looked.  It is cool seeing how many people read each post, and discovering which posts are most popular.  Last month the site was accessed over 1000 times, a record!!! 

Anyway, back to the delicious chicken!

Crispy skin chicken is a dish of great significance to my husband and I. It formed part of a regular order from our favourite Fish'n'Chips/ Chinese takeaway when we were at university. My husband and I bonded over a dislike of much of the food at our hall of residence in our first year at university. Even though we were pretty broke, we ended up seeking out fish'n'chips every month or so. We got to know the family running the store well, assisting the kids with their homework on occasion and discussing high school subject options.

I was given their recipe for crispy skin chicken one night but sadly never wrote it down. All I remembered was honey. Yesterday I decided it was time to master this dish. Mine is not as good as my beloved favourite store, but was pretty awesome.  This can be made in stages over a couple of days.  The final stage is messy, and left my kitchen smelling like cooking oil.  Still, the delicious taste and pleased husband were a great reward!

Crispy Skin Chicken

2 TBSP salt
6 TBSP Chinese Rice Wine (you can buy this at Asian grocery stores, it is pretty cheap and is not for drinking neat)!
2 TBSP clear honey
2 cloves
2 TBSP cinnamon/ or two sticks of cinnamon (I wanted the skin to look a little speckled so used powdered).
5 star anise
2 spring onions, roughly chopped in two inch chunks
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
One inch chunk of ginger, sliced or grated
Four chicken legs, each cut into three pieces.
Cooking oil

Rub the salt all over the chicken.  Mix together the other ingredients and marinate for five hours/ overnight.  Steam for two - three hours in the marinade.  (I put the chicken and marinade in a bowl, a trivet on the bottom of my wok and then put a lid over the whole arrangement.  It wouldn't fit in my small steamer). Leave to cool, remove from marinade and dry the chicken.  It is a good idea at this point to leave the chicken on a rack in the refrigerator - this dries out meat very nicely.   The chicken needs to be very, very dry (I once dried a duck using a hairdryer in an emergency).  Put an inch or two of oil in your pan (enough that the chicken is at least half covered).  Do the skin side down first.  When crisp, drain well and serve. Yum. 

Best eaten hot and fresh.

I also liked the look of this recipe, and might try it next week

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