|Spiced then Steamed free-range chicken|
I never intended to cook this chicken this way (and never steamed one before, not even researched about it) - but I liked the result that it fits to be stored in my ‘blog memory’. Feel free to try and give it some twist even…
So... post New Year, I did the usual grocery and chopped this free-range chicken (or at least how it was labelled). I soon realized that I didn’t have enough space in the freezer for the half part. Unsure what to do (and feeling lazy to pre-cook it), I immediately marinated it thinking that what I’ll put should somehow preserve it from spoiling. I didn’t have a cook’s kitchen and lack the usual spices – but I did find a few. I showered the half chicken with a bit of apple cider, rubbed it with chopped garlic, throw in some strong-smelling cloves (unused for years), sprinkled with curry powder, rained it with chopped basil, showered more ground and powdered pepper and seasoned with salt. Both sides. The sequence was more or less based on what I was able to grab.
Put it in the container and stored in the chiller.
The next morning, still unsure what to do (while thinking what to eat for breakfast), I put it out of the ref and considered my options. I didn’t want a fry (bad fats), and I didn’t have a proper roaster. I thought I could DIY a steamed chicken so I assembled a pot and luckily found an old steamer basket that fits. (I thought of using my stainless colander if it didn’t.)
Put some water in the pot (I put too many for a medium heat), and added bay leaves (as if I knew what I was doing) and set it to boil.
Minutes of boiling and steaming had sent a fragrant scent all around the room revealing that ‘something was cooking right’… It took a little more than 30minutes to cook (chicken was not totally defrosted).
A quick tender test with fork and I knew the battle was over. A little meat taste made me conclude: “Walang sinabi yung Hainanese!” HA HA! Perfect!
Healthier? For sure. No additional frying oil, no batter that absorbs more cooking oil, no unhealthy sauces needed, and further – the chicken skin’s oil (sat fat) was greatly reduced and ‘melted away’ by the steam (well, it dripped into the boiling water).