Silken Chicken Soup Noodle
As foodies, it is only right that my husband and I pay homage to Penang's street food - the No. 1 food destination in the entire world as endorsed by Saveur's veteran editor-in-chief, James Oseland! So we find every excuse to take a trip to Penang at least once a year to lap up all our street food favourites. One discovery that has found its way to my Top 3 is the Old Green House Silken Chicken.
The meat is so tender like silk as the name implies and is actually easy to replicate for home cooks.
I have been experimenting with the poached chicken rice recipe and modified it into a soup noodle recipe that is easy to make and absolutely mouth-watering.
These were the grub we ordered at Old Green House 3 years back.
Look at the chicken, it's beautiful... and delicious!
Let's get to cooking.
To make this Silken Chicken recipe, I exchanged my wok for a casserole pot. This is the main magic really, because it makes all the difference.
Now, render some chicken fat from all the fat excess you have trimmed earlier.
Then, fry two stalks of lemongrass and a handful of garlic cloves in medium to high heat.
Add dried 5-6 dried chillies into the mix.
After a few stirs, raise the heat and add onion.
After it becomes translucent, add ginger garlic paste. Yes, you can see the mix caramelizing, it's a wonderful sign.
Then add a big splash of Chinese rice wine (I think it's about 3-4 tbsp) followed by some water to deglaze the pot.
Add sea salt and grounded black pepper to the mix. Taste the balance and adjust.
Now add two chicken legs that have been marinating in salt and pepper for 2-3 hours.
Add enough water to cover the legs.
Then lay two bunch of scallions and a handful of goji berries into the soup. Bring the pot to a boil and cover.
The most important element to this dish is heat management. So when the pot comes to a boil, close the lid and time 7 minutes of high heat.
The chicken will not shrink or overcook if you follow this time frame.
In the next 23 minutes, switch the flame to very low, but how low? Just make sure there is enough heat to make the soup percolate gently.
See the video example below.
After 23 minutes, turn off the heat and immediately remove the chicken from the pot. Scoop the soup into a bowl of blanched noodles and veggie. Plate the chicken and sprinkle some fresh scallions on top to garnish.
The chicken will be so tender you can peel the meat off its bones with chopsticks.
Recipe serves 2 pax:
Chicken Legs - 2
Noodles - 2 servings
Veggies - 2 bunches
Lemongrass - 2 stalks
Garlic Cloves - a handful
Ginger Garlic Paste- 2 large teaspoons
Dried Chillies - 5-6
Onion - 1
Chinese Rice Wine - 4 tbsp
Black Pepper - 3 generous pinches (roasted and grounded)
Scallions - 2 stalks
Goji Berries - a handful
Salt to taste
1. Render fat in a deep casserole pot in medium high heat. When the fat browns and releases oil, first remove the fat and add lemongrass and garlic into the pot. When the garlic browns, add dried chillies.
2. Raise the heat and then add in chopped onion. When the onion becomes translucent, add ginger garlic paste, followed by Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) and some water to deglaze the pot. Then add some salt and pepper.
3. Now lay two chicken legs, add water to just about cover them, followed by scallions and goji berries.
4. Let the chicken legs cook in high heat for 7 minutes then turn the heat down to low (let it softly simmer) for another 23 minutes
5. Serve with blanched noodles and veggies.