Monday, May 28, 2007

Red Cooked Chicken

Red cooking, is a technique of braising -- Chinese, as we barberians say -- that uses lots and lots of dark soya sauce. I was leafing through a relatively new cook book I had got, by who is, arguably, the most productive and well recognized Sri Lankan foodie there is, Charmaine Solomon.
In Asian Favorites, which is a selected set of recipes from the massive and magisterial, Complete Asian Cookbook, the red cooked chicken, caught my attention. I was worried by the price of soya sauce, if I liked it the dish, wanted to do it several times -- but I found an inexpensive brand, Turkey, which turned out fine. You can pay Rs. 800 for a large bottle of soya sauce, so be carefully -- unless you want to!
The chicken is simmered, in loads of Soya Sauce, a little wine, water, sugar and spices -- add your own. Now the nice part is you can do it once, I did it with the whole chicken as Solomon describes, and then preserved the resulting, sauce which is now chicken 'soaked' left in the fridge for a few days, and did it again, with chicken thighs (see the fast talking, 'kick-it-up-a-notch' American TV Chef Emeril's take here) -- using the previous sauce. Now that was rich, and right at the end, I took the chicken out, and thickened the sauce a little by boiling it down carefully.
It was a big hit with critters that eat stuff, where I live.

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