Jeannette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living offers this healthy and delicious way to prepare chicken by poaching, a popular and very low-fat method of Chinese cooking. The resulting soft and silky chicken is complemented by her savory ginger soy sauce for dipping, and can be served warm or cold. For an even simpler version of this recipe, poach the chicken with just ginger, scallion, black peppercorns, and salt.


Chinese Poached Chicken
2 stalks celery cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup cilantro cut into 2″ pieces
2 shallots peeled, halved
1 piece ginger 1 1/2″ long, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic
10 whole coriander seeds
6 white peppercorns
8 Szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sherry, not cooking sherry
1 whole chicken breast on the bone with skin, or 2 split chicken breasts (~ 2 pounds)
Soy Ginger Sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce or 3 teaspoons regular soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger minced
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic minced
2 tablespoons scallion finely julienned
1/4 teaspoon sugar
pinch white pepper
1/3 cup poaching liquid
fresh cilantro sprigs


In a large saucepan, place celery, coriander, shallots, ginger, scallions, garlic, coriander seeds, white peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns, and salt. Add enough water to cover chicken (I put the chicken in the saucepan to see how much water I need, then remove the chicken). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add rice wine. Place chicken breast halves in poaching liquid, skin side up. Bring back to boil; lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over, and simmer 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from poaching liquid and let cool, covered with plastic. Reserve 1/3 cup poaching liquid for Ginger Soy Sauce. Remove bones and skin from chicken, and shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
To make sauce, combine all Soy Ginger Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve chicken with Soy Ginger Sauce on the side. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

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