A slow cooker is used to create this mouth-watering and juicy poached chicken served with the tasty sauce in which it was cooked together with pak choi and (I suggest) long grain rice. Some 20 minutes needed for preparation, and some time spent at the end, but basically you can leave this to look after itself for 3¾ hours.
- 2-3 coriander sprigs with extra leaves to garnish
- 2 onions
- oven-ready chicken, about 3 lbs 5 ounces / 1.5kg
- 21 fluid ounces / 600ml chicken stock
- 4 fluid ounces / 125ml dark soy sauce (see Tips below)
- 4 tablespoons of rice wine
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 inch / 2.5cm piece of galangal
- 1 dried red chilli
- 2 spring onions (scallions)
- 2 pak choi
- freshly ground black pepper
Use a slow cooker for this.
Crush the stalks of the coriander sprigs.
Cut one onion in half. Slice up the other onion.
Remove any fat from the cavity of the chicken.
Slice the garlic cloves.
Slice the galangal.
Deseed the red chilli if preferred.
Slice the spring onions (scallions) thinly.
Slice the pak choi into quarters.
Place a heatproof saucer upside down in the slow cooker. Make sure the chicken will be able to sit on it once the lid is on.
Put the lid on and pre-heat the slow cooker to high.
Meanwhile, put the coriander and the two onion halves in the cavity of the chicken. Season the contents of the cavity with pepper.
Close up the cavity by securing the skin with cocktail sticks.
Put the chicken breast side down on top of the saucer in the pre-heated slow cooker.
Make sure the stock is boiling and pour it over the chicken.
Pour the soy sauce and the rice wine over the chicken.
If necessary, add more chicken stock to ensure it comes to about one inch / 2.5cm from the top of the cooker. Do not worry if some of the chicken is still exposed.
Add the chopped onion, galangal, and chilli to the cooker. Make sure you push it down into the liquid.
Cover the cooker with the lid.
Cook on the high setting for 3¾ hours.
Remove the chicken from the cooker and make sure the juices un clear when you pierce the thickest part of the chicken with the tip of a knife or skewer. If not, return it to the cooker for another ten minutes or so, then check again.
Once the chicken is cooked and removed from the cooker, wrap it in foil and leave it to rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the spring onions (scallions) and pak choi to the slow cooker and cook for another 20 minutes until the pak choi is tender.
Then, remove just the pak choi from the cooker and wrap it in the foil with the chicken.
Tip the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and boil vigorously for at least three minutes until reduced.
Add more soy sauce and ground pepper if you like.
Remove the skin from the chicken and carve.
Strain the liquid from the saucepan and discard the solids.
To serve, sprinkle the chicken with some extra coriander leaves. Add the pak choi as a vegetable and the reduced liquid as a sauce.
This goes well with long grain rice.
Instead of dark soy sauce you can substitute mushroom sauce.
Pak choi may be spelled bok choy, bok choi, or pak choy, but it’s still basically the same Chinese white cabbage the comes in different varieties. The Chinese have cultivated it for over 5,000 years, although it can now be grown in most countries. One cup of pak choi provides more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A and two thirds of the RDA of Vitamin C.