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Recipe by David Chang

"I love this dish because it’s the opposite of what you’re supposed to do with a chicken. Roast chicken with browned skin is sexy. Boiled chicken is so uncool that I think it’s cool. The meat comes out juicy and tender, even the breast meat, which I ordinarily detest. In this case, I serve it like Hainanese chicken on a bed of seasoned short-grain rice. In this case, instead of a classic chili sauce or ginger-scallion sauce as condiments, I went a North African/Middle Eastern route, because Lil Jon says he likes that. Specifically, I made two riffs on the Yemeni sauce zhug. 

The other big benefit of boiling chicken is that you don’t lose any juices like you do with roast chicken. Instead, you get a beautiful broth, which I turn into a riff on chicken and dumplings for the second course. For the dumplings, I used leftover bing dough from the Everything-Spice Flatbread."
  • 1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine 
  • Fish sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1/2 lbs oyster or maitake mushrooms, broken into large pieces
  • Leftover bing dough
  • 4 cups cooked short-grain rice
  • 5 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • MSG
  • Soy sauce

For Serving

  • Green and Red Zhug
The night before you plan on cooking the chicken, season it well with salt, set it on a rack-lined sheet tray and let it cure overnight in the fridge.

Place the seasoned chicken in a large pot or Dutch oven and fill halfway with water—about 8–10 cups. Drop in the garlic and ginger, along with the Shaoxing wine, then bring to a boil over high heat. Season with fish sauce, salt, and black pepper, to taste. The seasoning level is important here. You don’t want it salty like pasta water, but rather exactly the way you want the final soup to taste. Note the water level.

Cover and boil the chicken for forty minutes. Try not to peek. After forty minutes, turn off the heat, and replenish the water with fresh water to the original level. That way, the soup should be seasoned perfectly, regardless of how much water evaporated during cooking. 
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, slice off the breasts. Whether you keep the skin or feed it to your pup, is up to you. I tend to like plain, unadorned breast meat. Slice the breast into thick slices. 
Season the rice with butter, sesame oil, salt, MSG, and a splash of soy. Lay it on a plate, and top with the chicken breast. Cover one breast with red zhug and the other with green. Serve. 

While your friends are eating the chicken breast, pull all the dark meat from the chicken bones and reintroduce to the soup. Add the sliced red onion, scallions, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and cook until the veg is cooked through. Tear the leftover bing dough into small pieces and toss into the soup. Cook for another minute, or until the dumplings are cooked through. Adjust the seasoning once more, and serve. 


Green Not-Zhug

This sauce is a little freeform riff on zhug, and really just came from what we had laying around the kitchen. Essentially, it’s a handful of mixed green peppercorns, blended until smooth with a pinch of kaffir lime powder, a few shakes of garam masala, a little chicken bouillon, olive oil, sesame oil, 8 or 9 cloves of garlic, a whole jalapeño, a dozen macadamia nuts, and a big fistful of fresh herbs: chives, parsley, mint, and cilantro. A little hot oil poured straight on top brings out some of the aromatics. The juice of twoa limes and a splash of rice wine vinegar adds acidity. A little soy sauce brings umami. Season to taste and serve within a couple days.


Red Not-Zhug

This is another totally improvised sauce. I seeded a couple red bell peppers and tossed them in the microwave with two whole, small carrots for 90 seconds. I’d literally never done this before, but it worked out great. The microwave steamed some of the rawness out of the veg and made them the perfect base for the sauce. I blended the peppers and carrots with 8 cloves of garlic, a habanero pepper, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Additionally, I cooked a spoonful of ground allspice in oil, and mixed that in as well. Season to taste with vinegar, sugar, salt, and MSG. 


Watch Dinner Time Live with David Chang on Netflix now, and tune in every Tuesday at 4 p.m. PST to watch live.

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