AE Chinese Chicken 5

This is the debut of the Dinner Party series on this blog.  I love dinner parties of all shapes and sizes.  Even two people, that’s a party when food is involved!  I love when I’m cooking and hosting and creating the atmosphere, as much as I love to be invited, having no control and being completely surprised by the mood and the food.  I love when I know all the guests and it’s something intimate, as much as I love to be at a table full of people and recognize only one or two of them.  Something magical happens at dinner parties, something alchemical.  They are situations full of tastes, smells, possibility, emotions and storytelling.  I hope to feature a number of them on this site,  glimpses into a night, a lunch, a meal… moments.

AE Jessie

Dinner Party AE

Location: New York City along the Bowery

Time: 5:30pm for kitchen prep and cooking with friends/9pm dinner/2:30am endtime, at least I headed home then…

Host(s): A.E.

Occasion: It was a friend’s birthday the day before… basically any excuse to get together is a good one.

Featured Dish: A.E.’s Chinese Chicken

AE Chinese Chicken

A.E. makes an incredible vegetable broth which he uses for everything from risottos, to boiling chicken like we do in this recipe (you can of course boil the chicken directly in the liquid and make a chicken broth, we just happened to have vegetable broth on hand), to turning it into a light soup with the simple addition of freshly grated ginger and a pinch of sea salt.  The secret to his broths are the addition of fresh ginger, cloves, dried anise flowers and cinnamon sticks, alongside your usual broth ingredients like carrots, onions and potatoes, even fennel.  But he doesn’t tend to use celery which can quickly overpower the  flavor of delicate broths.

Serves 5-6

For the chicken:
1 quart vegetable  or chicken broth
2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
For the sauce:
½ cup fish sauce
½ cup sweet chili sauce
½ cup ponzu sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili paste
2 tablespoons vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil
a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ cup white wine
Bring the broth to a boil.  Rinse and pat dry chicken thighs.  Add chicken to broth, simmer until chicken is cooked through about 30 minutes.  Reserve 1½ cup of the broth.

In a medium sized bowl combine fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, ponzu sauce, chili paste and sesame oil.

Add oil to a large frying pan, when it’s hot add ginger, scallions and finally sesame seeds.  Sauté until the scallions soften and the ginger starts to turn brown, pour in the sauce you made in the previous step, add white wine and ½ a cup of the reserved vegetable broth that you used to boil the chicken.  Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.  When the sauce has thickened a bit, add the cooked chicken and stir until coated and warmed through.