Originated at the Beijing imperial court, this dish was served as a first course
at banquets. The whiteness of the chicken contrasts with the green to create
"jade" on the plate. This is a particularly appropriate dish to serve at the
start of the Year of the Dragon because, in Chinese mythology, jade was the dragon's
favorite gem and people ate green vegetables to symbolize the gem.
(Serves 6 to 8 as a first course)
Yin-Fei Lo calls for scallion oil in this dish. She uses this easily made flavored oil
in many soups, sauces and marinades. If you do not want to make this oil, substitute plain
For the scallion oil:
1-1/2 cups peanut oil
3 to 4 bunches scallions (1 pound), trimmed, white parts lightly smashed, each scallion
cut into 2-inch pieces
For the chicken:
2-3/4 pound chicken breast, rib bones and skin intact, large-breasted oven roaster
2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons, Mei Kuei Lu Chiew or gin, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1-inch-thick slice fresh ginger, cut into 4 slices, plus 1/2-inch-thick slice fresh
ginger, lightly smashed
3/4 pound broccoli florets, cut into pieces 2-1/4 inches long and 1-1/2 inches wide
6 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon scallion oil or peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (although available in small bottles, you can make a
better-quality ginger juice yourself by simply grating fresh ginger into a bowl, then
pressing it through a garlic press)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
For the sauce:
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
Pinch freshly ground white pepper
If using, make the scallion oil: Heat a wok over medium heat. Add the peanut oil, then
the scallions. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally. When the oil turns golden brown, it is done.
Turn off the heat. Strain oil through a fine strainer into a bowl, and cool to room
temperature. Do not discard the scallions. Pour the scallion oil into a glass jar, and
refrigerate until needed. The oil will keep at room temperature for 1 week or refrigerated
for up to 6 months. Place the scallions in a plastic container and refrigerate. They will
keep indefinitely and are a fine addition to stocks and soups.
Make the chicken: Wash the chicken breast well, remove the fat and membranes, drain and
dry. Cut in half lengthwise, place in a cake pan or steam-proof dish, rub with 2
tablespoons Mei Kuei Lu Chiew or gin, sprinkle with 1-1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the
sugar, and rub in. Put half the scallions and 2 of the ginger slices underneath the
chicken, the remaining scallions and the other 2 ginger slices under the skin. Place the
cake pan in a steamer, cover, and steam for 30 minutes.
As the chicken steams, blanch the broccoli: Place the cold water, the 1/2-inch ginger
slice and the baking soda in a pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli,
and stir well until the broccoli turns bright green, about 5 seconds. Turn off the heat,
run cold water into the pot, drain and reserve.
Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds, add 1 tablespoon of the scallion oil or
peanut oil and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, and coat the wok with it using a spatula.
When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the broccoli, stir well, and cook for 1 minute.
Mix the 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice with the remaining 2 teaspoons of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew or
gin, and pour the mixture around the edge of the wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes, making
certain the broccoli is well-coated. Add the sesame oil, and stir well. Turn off the heat,
transfer the broccoli to a heated platter, and arrange it as a border.
Remove the skin and bone from the chicken, and cut the breast into 1/3-inch slices
across. Arrange the chicken slices on a platter with the broccoli surrounding them.
Mix the soy sauce, tapioca flour, pepper and one cup of the steaming liquid to make a
sauce. Heat the wok over high heat, and add the sauce. Stir continually until it thickens
and bubbles. Turn off the heat, ladle the sauce over the chicken and serve.
(Source: Daily News)