In autumn the Chinese typically change their recipes to suit the requirements of the cold days. Chinese cuisine is based on Taoist principles of "yin" and "yang", or balance. It is believed that maintaining a proper balance in the diet, the body retains its harmony, and it is less susceptible to suffer diseases.
Some Chinese philosophy
The Chinese classify ingredients with qualities yin (cool and refreshing) and yang (warm), and the ones with neutral qualities. This does not refer to the temperature of the meals but the effect they cause in the organism. Yin ingredients like cucumber, watermelon and tofu refresh the body and should be used preferably in summer. By contrast, yang foods such as meat, ginger and spices, invigorate and warm the body and must be consumed in winter. There are also neutral foods like rice and whole grains, which can be eaten all year.
According to the Chinese, chicken with ginger, scallions and sugar crystals, is ideal for winter, because the two ingredients are yang, chicken and ginger, and they produce heat, increase circulation and strengthen the body against the winter elements. In contrast the spiciness of ginger with the soft sweetness of sugar crystals is an irresistible combination served over hot steamed rice.
It is unusual to find a recipe of 1 ½ cups of ginger slices in Chinese food. Generally, this is used in moderation, perhaps two or three slices, or a light sprinkling of grated ginger.
In this dish, you will taste, and literally feel the heat as your body warms up completely. Although ginger is eaten whole, do not feel obliged to. If you're not used to it, the flavor can result you very strong.
Chicken with ginger, scallions and sugar crystals
- 1 cup of fat-free chicken stock, low in sodium
- 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce
- ¼ cup of sugar crystals
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups of ginger slices (about 85g-171 g)
- 2 Kilos of bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- ¼ cup of chopped scallions
- ½ tsp of salt
1 In a small saucepan, combine the stock, soy sauce, sugar crystals, leading to a boil over medium heat, and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Keep it aside.
2 Heat a pan of 35 cm of diameter, over high heat, wait until it’s very hot. Add oil and ginger and sauté until slightly brown the ingredients, about 1 minute. Arrange the ginger into the sides of the pan. Reduce heat to medium and carefully place the chicken in the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the other side is browned as well, side, but do not cook yet. Discard any excess of fat, redistribute ginger, and sprinkle the chicken with shallots and salt.
3 Sprinkle the mixture of chicken stock rapidly, by the sides of the pan and cover immediately. Cook covered over medium heat for 4 minutes. Turn the chicken, reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes more, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.
About 6 servings.
Note: The chicken thighs are richer in fat than the breast; however you can choose to prepare breast, only increases the cooking time to 5-10 minutes.