Three Cup Chicken, because you need a history lesson…kind of…

00fd8f9c-dfb7-4fc1-ba72-2e26cdae4428

WHAT’RE WE MAKING TODAY??

Three cup chicken!

WAIT, YOU’RE EXPECTING ME TO EAT THREE CUPS OF CHICKEN?  THAT’S A LOT, EVEN FOR A MANLY MAN LIKE ME, MUCH LESS YOU, YOU LITTLE WUSSY!!

Dude, chill out, I’m not asking you to go on a pale protein binge.  It’s an old Chinese dish.

OOH, LOOK AT YOU, BEING ALL HISTORICAL!  I’LL BET YOU’RE GOING TO TEACH ME A HISTORY LESSON, AREN’T YOU, PROFESSOR SUTHERLAND VON SCHTUPPENSCHTEIN??!!  PLEASE, REGAL ME WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

First of all, it’s Dr. Von Schtuppenschtein, jackass.

Second, three cup chicken is an ancient dish that originated in the Heilongjiang province of China, back in the 16th century.  The governor, Chen Dao Huang, had a chicken dish that he ordered his soldiers to eat before every battle with invading Mongols.  The dish was served in three separate cups: one to represent the responsibility to defend the decisions of past generations, one to represent the duty to serve the present generation and preserve their way of life, and one to represent the vision of building a better civilization for future generations.

OK, THAT’S PRETTY DEEP, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION!

WELL???

Nah, I’m just fucking with you, it’s a recipe I got from the New York Times, it’s not even Chinese, it’s Taiwanese.

I HATE YOU.

The feeling is mutual.

Setting aside the fake history, this is a pretty solid, straight-forward Asian chicken dish.  Even the most inexperienced of cooks can make this one.

SWEET, I MIGHT TAKE A SHOT AT MAKING IT THEN!

Have they reconnected the gas in your house after you almost burnt it down boiling water?

NEVER MIND, I’LL JUST READ THE REST AND EAT SOME WHEAT THINS.

Good call.

A couple quick notes on the recipe.  It calls for rice wine and dried peppers.  Rice wine isn’t easy to find; if you can, great.  If not, mirin works just fine, and is a lot easier to find.  Dried red peppers, it’s hard to find a bag with less than 19,000 peppers, all of which will weigh 0.8 ounces.  Get the bag, if you keep them in a Ziploc bag, they will keep forever.

Second, if you have a wok, fantastic, great for you.  If you do, once you’re done sautéing the aromatics, you can push them up to the side before you start cooking the chicken.  If you don’t, just use a sauté pan, and move them to a side plate before you cook the chicken.

Three Cup Chicken

Makes 4 servings

From The New York Times

Ingredients

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces

12 garlic cloves, peeled

4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 dried red peppers

2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 cup rice wine

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 cups fresh basil leaves, Thai or regular

Directions

Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil.  When hot, add the ginger, garlic, scallions, and peppers, and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the contents to a side plate.

Add the rest of the oil, and add the chicken to the pan.  Cook until the chicken is well browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the aromatics back to the pan.  Add the sugar, rice wine, and soy sauce, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat, and add the basil leaves.  Stir to combine, and serve.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s