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Chinese-Style Poached Chicken with Pear and Orange
© Con Poulos

Chinese-Style Poached Chicken with Pear and Orange


While most cooks choose to roast or fry chicken, this recipe from chef Mark Fuller (F&W Best New Chef 2009) proves that poaching it off the stove in a flavorful ginger-and-scallion broth produces amazingly juicy and flavorful meat that you just can't get with other methods.

  1. Kosher salt
  2. 1/4 pound fresh ginger, thinly sliced and crushed, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  3. 8 scallions, halved, plus 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only
  4. Four 12-ounce bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
  5. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  6. 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  9. 1 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
  10. 2 tablespoons Chinese black-bean-garlic sauce
  11. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  12. 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
  13. 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  14. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  15. 1 firm, ripe Bartlett pear, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  16. 4 mandarins, separated into sections
  17. 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn
  18. 1/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped
  1. In a large pot, bring 16 cups of water and 1/2 cup of salt to a boil with the crushed ginger and halved scallions. Add the chicken and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand until cooked through, 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, five-spice powder and sliced scallions and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the stock, black-bean and soy sauces and bring just to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce is thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in the 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger with the sesame oil and the 1 teaspoon of vinegar; keep warm.
  3. In a bowl, toss the pear, mandarins, basil and cashews with the remaining 1 tablespoon each of oil and vinegar and season with salt.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and discard the skin and bones. Slice the breasts crosswise, transfer to plates and drizzle with some of the sauce. Serve with the salad, passing additional sauce at the table. make ahead The sauce can be refrigerated overnight; reheat gently, adding water if it is too thick.

Suggested Pairing

Fruit-forward Chenin Blanc is delicious with this pear-studded dish.