Chinese-Style Poached Chicken with Pear and Orange

Chinese-Style Poached Chicken with Pear
and Orange
While most cooks choose to roast or fry chicken, this recipe from chef Mark Fuller (F&W Best
New Chef 2009) proves that poaching it off the stove in a flavorful ginger-and-scallion broth
produces amazingly juicy and flavorful meat that you just can't get with other methods.
1. Kosher salt
2. 1/4 pound fresh ginger, thinly sliced and crushed, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
3. 8 scallions, halved, plus 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only
4. Four 12-ounce bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
5. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6. 3 large garlic cloves, minced
7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8. 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
9. 1 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
10. 2 tablespoons Chinese black-bean-garlic sauce
11. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
12. 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
13. 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
14. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
15. 1 firm, ripe Bartlett pear, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
16. 4 mandarins, separated into sections
17. 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn
18. 1/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped
1. In a large pot, bring 16 cups of water and 1/2 cup of salt to a boil with the crushed ginger
and halved scallions. Add the chicken and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand
until cooked through, 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic
and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the red pepper,
five-spice powder and sliced scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add
the stock, black-bean and soy sauces and bring just to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch
mixture and cook until the sauce is thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 teaspoon of
grated ginger with the sesame oil and the 1 teaspoon of vinegar; keep warm.
3. In a bowl, toss the pear, mandarins, basil and cashews with the remaining 1 tablespoon
each of oil and vinegar and season with salt.
4. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and discard the skin and bones. Slice the breasts
crosswise, transfer to plates and drizzle with some of the sauce. Serve with the salad,
passing additional sauce at the table. make ahead The sauce can be refrigerated overnight;
reheat gently, adding water if it is too thick