i recently used google spreadsheet to plan a family party. really useful for real time editing of menu, head count, supplies needed, etc. one day i checked the sheet and saw my aunty had written she will be bringing "Romantic Chicken".
i thought, surely this must be a typo. she probably meant Rosemary chicken, right? but rosemary is a little far off from romantic. hmmm. maybe she meant romantic like Roman (like greek, latin, german, roman?) like the country? How does one prepare a romantic chicken? do they kiss before you cook it?
when i saw her next i asked about romantic chicken. apparently, it is a recipe from my popo. it's just steamed chicken. usually includes lup cheong. ginger, fungus, mushrooms, water chest nuts, black beans, haoyou, onions, etc. - all that good steamed chinese stuff. but popo added a little wine to the sauce to make it "romantic".
so that's the story of romantic chicken.
if you would like to try, i can give you my approximate recipe... i've made it a few times myself but haven't really measured the ingredients (in true home-cooking-comfort-food-learned-from-mom fashion)! i guess it's not real romantic chicken because i don't add dao si or wine, but i prefer it this way!
dice boneless chicken and place in a mixing bowl with minced garlic, sliced (or minced) ginger, salt, and pepper (when my mom cooks chinese food she uses white pepper. i think black pepper is fine but ???). add haoyou to coat it. rehydrate some black ear fungus (a.k.a. "mu er" i think?) and mix it in. mix in sliced lup cheong, sliced water chest nuts (yeah, i just use the kind from the can), other mushrooms, sliced onions. transfer to a pyrex plate and steam until chicken is cooked (OPTIMALLY 160ºF, PEOPLE. CHICKEN SHOULD BE SOFT BUT NOT PINK, OK? just try not to over cook it so that it turns dry. this PSA is brought to you by CAMPYLOBACTER! ™ found in 60% of grocery store chicken and causing gastroenteritis since the the dawn of time!). before serving, top with fresh green onion and chinese parsley. serve over rice!
other things you might want to add to the mixture: baby corn (yes, i love canned vegetables don't judge), bamboo shoots, won bok (known as Napa Cabbage to haoles), fried tofu, many kinds of fungus, carrots... the list goes on! you can really put what ever you want in here. :) and as long as you don't have a steaming dish that's too deep, it cooks really fast.
speaking of steaming, are you thinking,
BUT C, I DON'T HAVE A STEAMER, WHY SO COMPLICATED?
then just put a sheet pan in your combi-oven (haha, restaurant joke)
well, my friends, you can just microwave the whole thing. yes. microwave. not kidding.
saran wrap or put a lid on the dish and zap it until 160ºF. maybe add a little bit of water (like, a fourth of a cup for a whole bowl) and a tsp of oil so it doesn't get dry. it's actually faster than steaming! ahhh, technology!
ok, enough food talk.
how about some Les Savy Fav today?