Monday. If there were to be a day when I loathe to cook, it has to be on a Monday.
Because I cook virtually everyday, I am usually exhausted when Monday comes round. Not exhausted because I have to cook. Afterall, I LOVE cooking. More because I am usually out of ideas as to WHAT to cook after the weekend.
For this reason, I tend to keep Monday menus simple. And simple to me means Chinese food. I can usually whip up a Chinese meal – one meat dish, one vegetable dish, and one ‘other’ dish – in 15 to 20 minutes.
Today, I decided to braise chicken in soy caramel.
Do you like chicken wings? I think chicken wings are my favourite part of the entire bird. I adore the wing tips. I remember we once had a helper who was from Indonesia. One evening, I asked her to clean the chicken wings so I could cook them at a later time. I specifically reminded her to leave the wing tips on the chicken. Misunderstanding what I had said, she snipped off ALL the wing tips and disposed of them. I think that night I could see my heart bleeding.
Anyway, enough yakking. Lets get on to how to make this dish. It really is a very simple dish to make. I started by slicing ginger and crushing some garlic. There is no need to remove the skin on either the garlic or the ginger if you do not wish to.
Add a little hot vegetable oil into the wok. Add ginger and garlic and cook for a minute or so, until fragrant.
Add the chicken mid-joints. You can also use chicken thighs or a whole chicken. Just cut them into smaller pieces.
Add the soy caramel and stir until all the chicken pieces have been coated.
Add light soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper. Add water. If you like more gravy, add more water, but at least add enough water to almost cover the chicken.
Finally add a little sugar, salt and white pepper. Give everything a good stir and cover the pan. Lower the heat and simmer the chicken for about 10 minutes. After this, remov the cover and continue simmering the chicken for another 5 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked through, and the sauce has thickened, the dish is ready.
Serve immediately, with rice.
There you go. A super simple dish to combat those Monday (cooking) blues.
- 1 kg chicken mid-joints, or drumlets, or any chicken parts
- 1 piece thumb-sized ginger, sliced
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons caramel soy (substitute with dark soy sauce if you can't find this)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2.5-3 cups water
- Saute ginger and garlic in hot vegetable oil for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chicken and caramel.
- Stir to coat chicken.
- Add light soy, sesame, water. sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Simmer on low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove cover and simmer another 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice.