Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chicken with Black Mushrooms in Clay Pot

I've always loved the Chinese clay pot dishes mainly because, I think, it's an experience to be had and cherished.  Usually a main dish, it's like a surprise present for the dinner table because it comes to your table covered and the cook (in my case, it was my Ah Ma) would gloriously remove the lid (with a damp towel) for all of us to sigh and gasp in happiness.  Curries and other braises were cooked in these things and everyone would then happily dig in while chit-chatting about the day's events.

Unfortunately, I'm nowhere skilled enough to use an actual clay pot.  I've tried.  About five different times.  And each time, I somehow manage to break the damn pot (cracks appear even though I cook at very low heat and my food ends up spilling out).  So I've gone for the next best thing:  a ceramic pot!

You can pick up one of these from your local Asian grocery store for about $20 or so.  It's pretty handy and sure as heck made me feel like I can make feeble attempts at emulating the Grand Master of Chinese cookery: my Ah Ma!

What you'll need:
-  0.5 - 1lb chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces

-  1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice

-  1 tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce

-  1 tbsp coconut aminos

-  1 tbsp sesame seed oil

-  1 tbsp ground white pepper

-  1 tsp sea salt

-  1.5 cups of hydrated black mushrooms, stems removed, cut into fours

-  1 bunch green onions, cut into 2in pieces

-  1 bunch carrots (about 3 - 4), peeled and sliced diagonally

-  3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and julienned

-  1/4 cup water/broth

1.  Mix chicken, coconut aminos, fish sauce, sesame seed oil, Chinese five-spice, white pepper, and salt together.  Let marinate for at least half an hour.

2.  Add about 3 tbsp of avocado oil to ceramic pot over medium heat.

3.  Once oil is heated, add ginger and saute until fragrant.

4.  Add marinated chicken and saute until cooked through.

5.  Add mushrooms, carrots, and water (or broth!).  Stir thoroughly.

6.  Cover and let cook for about 5 - 8 minutes (or until carrots are softened).

7.  Throw in green onions.  Saute thoroughly and cover.  Let cook for another minute.

8.  Serve and enjoy!

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