Walking along the meat department of 99 Ranch Market, I was in search of something to make for dinner. Something easy and low stress.....when my eyes happened upon these:
The humble chicken drumstick. As I stood and stared(obviously mouth agape - good thing there were no flies around) at the styrofoam tray of poultry, my mind took me back to the joys of the drumstick. Has there ever been anything more perfectly designed than natures own "meat-on-a-stick?" And as a child, I adored them. So on this day, instead of the chicken legs, or whole fryer that I had been contemplating, I returned home with 8 drumsticks.
But what to do with them.......would it be a simple "fry-job"? Or perhaps a dijon based baked drumstick? There seemed to be a infinite number of options...... As I put away my groceries, direction became pretty clear. I had purchased some Gailan (Chinese Broccoli), so the direction would have to be Asian. And so I settled on doing a basic "Soy Sauce Chicken" recipe. Something I've been making for years. After all, I was doing drumsticks, so isn't there anything more basic than doing a simple soy sauce braise?
So here you go, a simple, Sunday, soy sauce, dish. You may want to make it on Saturday, and heat it on Sunday, it will taste better.
Soy Sauce Chicken Drumsticks
8-10 Chicken Drumsticks, or 3lbs various chicken parts, ORRR 1 whole fryer.
2 cloves of garlic smashed
2 3/4" pieces ginger smashed
2 star anise
4 scallions, white parts only, bruised
2 cups water
1 cup light soy sauce
2-3 Tb dark soy sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Shao Xing Wine
1 - In a wok or dutch oven combine water, ginger, star anise, garlic, and scallions, over medium heat.
2 - When water starts to boil, add soy sauce, sugar, and Shao Xing. Stir to dissolve sugar. At about this point, I always taste my braising liquid....if you've never done that before, please do...it may taste "yuck", but after making dishes over time, you'll be able to better predict how things will turn out, and make adjustments.
3 - Add chicken to wok, turning several times to make sure chicken is fully coated for about 5 minutes.
4 - Turn heat to low, and simmer chicken, turning every 8-10 minutes until done. These drumsticks took only 20 minutes. Do not overcook, the chicken will fall apart and get mushy.
5 - Serve with a little dish of the sauce.
You can take this in many directions....soy sauce eggs anyone? I found this to be close to the salty edge, so I made up a Ginger-Scallion Oil, just like what I make for my cold ginger chicken, which cut the salt and fat real well:
I hope you had a great weekend!