I love baking, grilling and roasting using the oven. Its simple, easy and you actually use one big roasting pan for everything you’re cooking. Or two at the most. Minimum washing, love it! This is a very basic chicken roast recipe with gravy that I make whenever I don’t feel like smelling like my food after cooking. Or when I am too lazy to spend my time cutting and preparing for a few dishes to eat with rice.
This recipe doesn’t call for fancy spices and no marinating is required. Just salt and pepper and well, the chicken. It works for one whole chicken of chicken portions. Since I am only cooking for two, I rubbed five chicken drumsticks thoroughly with salt and lay them on a roasting pan side by side. Then I ground lots and lots of fresh black pepper all over the chicken, making sure it’s coated all over. Pop it into the oven pre-heated to 200 degrees Celcius to roast for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, then turn once and roast until the other side is browned (about 15-20 minutes).
Once done, set the chicken aside but don’t discard the drippings. Heat a pan on medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil. When hot, sprinkle two tablespoons plain flour or cornflour stirring to make a paste. Pour in the chicken drippings and 2-3 tablespoons of oyster sauce, stirring non-stop. Add in about a cup of water and let boil until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Now you have the gravy ready!
Serve roast chicken hot with mashed potatoes, steamed peas,corn and carrots with gravy. Or, in my case, I served chicken with Hainanese chicken rice. If you intend to roast a whole chicken, follow the same method but roast it for at least an hour uncovered. If you like, you may roast it covered in aluminium foil for an hour and grill it uncovered until browned after. Throw some onions, kumara and potatoes to roast with the chicken too. Happy trying!
Chinese pork stew (low-jue-yoke) is one of my favourite dishes to make. Simply because everything is cooked in a single pot (yat-wok-suk!!), it lasts a few days and actually gets more flavourful day by day. Typical accompaniments for the pork are shiitake mushrooms and boiled eggs (low-dan). Ideally pork belly (fah-lam-yoke) should be used because of its decent fat to flesh ratio. Its alternate layers of meat and fat (mmmm…….) is very important to ensure your stewed pork won’t turn out stiff and dry! I am not a fan of shiitake mushrooms, but since Terry is not much of a pork person, I usually add in a fair amount of shiitake mushrooms to keep him happy.
~300g pork belly meat, cut into bite sizes
~8 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked til plump and soft, sliced
3 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
Chinese 5-spice powder (ng-heung-fun)
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Marinate pork with one tablespoon of 5-spice powder and enough soy sauce to coat every piece. Set aside.
To prepare gravy, mix the 3/4 cup of soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of five spice powder together in a bowl. Add about 1/2 cup water, stir. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a medium saucepan.
Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour in your gravy, bring to boil.
Once boiling, add in pork, shiitake mushrooms and eggs. If needed, add more water until all ingredients are covered in gravy. If it looks too diluted, add some dark soy sauce and/or soy sauce carefully. Bring to boil.
Once boiling, switch to low heat, cover and let simmer for about an hour or until pork is tender.
Season with salt and sugar if needed.
If you prefer to have your gravy slightly thick, stir in a teaspoon or two of cornflour (optional).
Remove from heat and serve!
Like I mentioned, I find the dish more flavourful the next day. Its perfect on rice or even noodles (gon-lou). Please note this recipe is for a decent pot of pork stew enough for the two of us for like 2 days! Feel free to half it. Anyway, the most important thing is the gravy so as long as you have something blackish and enough to cover your stuff, it’ll work just fine, no matter the amount! I think this recipe can be directly applied for chicken feet and mushroom stew too (dong-goo-mun-gai-geok), simply by subsituting pork belly with fried chicken feet. Maybe you could give that a try too.