Almost every recipe for Chrysanthemum Chicken you will ever come across derives its name from the fact the Chrysanthemum petals, or greens, are used as an ingredient. This recipe here, however, contains no floral parts and is inspired by a dish in a very old Chinese cookery book, now out of print, whose poetic name stems from its visual likeness to a Chrysanthemum bloom.
Personally, I think that the resemblance to a Chrysanthemum bloom is illusory at best, but dish is still a very nice one anyway. Unfortunately, I do not have that old Chinese cookery book any longer and so I have had to reconstruct it from memory as best I could. The flavorings probably differ from the original in a few ways, but the appearance looks very much like the picture in that old cookery book as I recall it…
The Ingredients for Chrysanthemum Chicken
- 4 Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on;
- 1 medium Onion;
- ½ cup Basic Chinese Chicken Stock;
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar;
- 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- ½ tsp. Sesame Oil;
Chop the chicken thighs in to 4 or 6 pieces (depending on the size of the thighs);
Slice the onion in half vertically and them slice each half crosswise into ¼ inch sections, breaking these apart into separate semi-circular strands.
Deep fry the chicken pieces in medium hot oil until just cooked through and beginning to brown on the outside. Set the pieces aside and keep warm.
Heat a few tablespoons of the deep-fry oil in a pan over high heat and add the onion. Stir and toss for a moment or so and then add the remaining ingredients except the chicken. Cook until the sauce is reduced and the onions are softened and caramelized.
Finally, add the chicken until all is heated through and the remaining sauce is little more than a glaze. Plate and serve immediately.
A Final Note…
If you are interested in seeing the original recipe which inspired this post, the book in which it appears, and which I mentioned above, is The Great Book of Chinese Cooking by Pierre Antolini. This is a terrific book with lots of interesting recipes and picture and I must have spent hours over the years browsing through it.
Sadly, my copy became very decrepit and I abandoned during a long-distance move, but you can still find it at Amazon periodically. It is probably the sort of book that will only appeal to serious cooks and cook book collectors, but it is well worth obtaining a copy. The price varies from time to time, but there are good deals to be had…