Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 24, 2012

Sake-Steamed Chicken

Libations used: 1 1/2 cups dry sake, 1 1/2 tsp sweet sherry (double the booze!)
Libations left over: Depends on how much sake you bought, but let's hope you have enough left to serve with dinner...
I've roasted my fair share of chickens and cooked them in my Dutch oven, but I've never steamed a chicken before.  I ran across this recipe for Sake-Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Scallions last spring in the New York Times and I finally decided to pull it out of the files.  I had done a lot of celebrating the night before and was kind of exhausted, so I really needed something easy to whip up.  Salt the chicken and plunk it in a pot with a steam basket and some sake.  Done.  Serve it with rice, snap peas, or I had it alongside arugula and used some of the ginger sauce as a light dressing.

Sake-Steamed Chicken - serves 8
  • 1 3 1/2 lb chicken, rinsed & patted dry (mine was bigger, so I had to steam it longer)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry sake
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs orange juice
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet sherry
  • 1 Tbs chopped ginger root
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • Sesame seeds
- Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a large stockpot.
- Pour in the sake and water and bring to a boil—you may need to add more of each so the liquid reaches the bottom of the steamer basket.
- Generously salt the inside and outside of the chicken and place it breast side up in the steamer basket.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover.
- Steam the chicken for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the juice runs clear when pierced with a knife.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, orange and lemon juices, rice vinegar, sherry, ginger and garlic.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and carve.
- Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
- Serve the extra sauce on the side for dipping.