Red Simmered Chicken
Growing up, my mom used to make amazing red simmered chicken. Unfortunately, this is not her recipe- but it's pretty close. This is a great one because it's pretty hard to ruin. I have never, until tonight, bothered to measure anything, and it comes out well every time. It gets better every time you reheat it, though the vegetables start to break down and the meat melts off the bones. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. We serve this with rice, and theoretically we also remember to steam some vegetables to serve on the side. The carrots are so sweet and tender that you might want to replace some of the potatoes with extra carrots.
I threw in a half a tomato this time- not what I usually do, but I had a half a tomato I didn't know what to do with...
2 pounds chicken
3 tablespoons oil
1 onion, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and halved
4 carrots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger cut into quarter-size coins
red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup sake or other wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
a few pieces of star anise or 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 stick of cinnamon (optional)
1 quart of homemade broth or water
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the meat and salt it lightly. Over the top, sprinkle the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Put the star anise and ginger in a tea ball if you like so you don't have to fish it out later, and then add that and the cinnamon. Pour in the sake and soy sauce, and when that has come to a boil, layer on the potatoes and carrots. Pour in enough broth or water to almost cover the vegetables and bring it to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and cover it most of the way. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
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