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Chicken Wings Steamed with Sichuan Pickle

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 1

A decade ago, I wouldn’t have thanked you for steamed or poached chicken in any fashion as I really disliked the texture of the finished product, especially the skin. Nowadays, after persisting with trying various Chinese recipes I have come to love it and I find that the wings are especially delectable treated in this manner.

For this experiment, I took as my inspiration a Cantonese recipe I came across in a book my wife bought me for my birthday. It steams a whole cut up chicken with a variety of ingredients, including mushrooms, white fungus, and Chinese Sausage, and it also includes pickled radish from Sichuan and some pickled Cabbage from Tientsin. I am just going to use some chicken ‘drumettes’ for this dish (the portion of the wing that looks like a little drumstick) and steam them with dried black mushrooms, a little scallion, and some of the very interesting Sichuan pickled vegetable I featured in my recent Korean-Style Beef Ribs post…

The Ingredients

  • 10 – 12 Chicken Drumettes;
  • ½ tsp. Salt;
  • 2 tbsp. Flour;
  • 1 large stalk of Celery, cut into thin matchsticks;
  • 2 dried Shiitake Mushrooms, reconstituted and shredded;
  • ½ cup Sichuan Pickled Vegetable;
  • 1 scallion, sliced lengthwise into 2” shreds,
  • 1 tsp. Sugar;
  • 1 tbsp. Rice Wine;
  • 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil;
  • 1 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce;

The pickle I am using is packed in Chili Oil and may not be available to you but you can substitute almost any equivalent product that suits your taste, including Korean Kimchi, or maybe even a home-made Mustard Pickle.

The Method

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 2

First, sprinkle the wing drumettes with the salt and then toss with the flour, rubbing it well into the skin.

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 3

Mix in the shredded mushrooms, pickled vegetable, and the white part of the scallion along with the sugar, soy, rice wine and sesame oil. Let everything sit and marinate for at least thirty minutes.

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 4

Spread the celery sticks over the bottom of a suitable steaming dish and then arrange the chicken pieces on top.

Steamed Chicken with Pickle 5

Spoon the rest of the vegetable pieces and sauce over the chicken and then steam for 20 – 25 minutes. Serve immediately after garnishing with the remaining scallion shreds.

The Verdict

This was very nice despite the fact that I got distracted while steaming and left the chicken going for nearly 40 minutes. It was a little overcooked but, although this affected the texture slightly, the taste was excellent. I liked the addition of the pickle well enough but, while it is quite strong eaten right out of the jar as a condiment, it mellowed quite a bit in steaming and wasn’t quite as flavorful as, say, homemade Kimchi might be. Still, all in all, the dish was a success…


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congrats to your success! It seems simple but complex! Must be very hot?

    February 20, 2013
    • Actually, this was one of the milder pickles I have used. I might be inclined to use a little additional chili if I make it again.

      February 20, 2013
  2. This sounds really good—I don’t mind steamed or poached chicken as long as it doesn’t have the skin on (blech) and as long as it’s been infused with some serious flavor—it sounds like this recipe would fit the bill for serious flavor. But I might add more chili as well. I wonder how it would be with kimchi?

    February 20, 2013
    • It was the skin that always put me off the most before but I have got to like it now. Kimchi would be great I am sure … we have finished my wife’s product from last year so we’ll have to make more 🙂

      February 20, 2013
  3. You might just convince me to poach too!

    February 20, 2013
  4. I have to admit that I like a crispy skin and boiled or poached skin is not as appealing to me. I bet that this dish can get me to like it too!

    February 24, 2013

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