Salted and steamed chicken

Salted and steamed chicken

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

This dish is a celebration for me of the chewy leanness of chicken that I thought was the ideal. The presentation as described here is meant to emphasise what has now become the elusive tastiness and chewiness of chicken, so is designed as a titbit.

For the salted chicken


Quantity Ingredient
1 small chicken
1 tablespoon sand ginger powder, (see glossary)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

For the clams

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon peanut oil
8 large meaty clams, (I use diamond clams)

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
500ml grapeseed oil
3 red asian shallots, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 spring onions, coarsely sliced
3.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt


  1. Steam the chicken:
  2. Take the legs off the chicken and use elsewhere. Trim away the wing tips and then dry the cavity and the outside of the chicken. Mix the sand ginger and salt together and rub into the chicken, both inside and out. Leave the chicken to marinate for 1½–2 hours in a cool spot, or in the refrigerator if the kitchen is hot. Place the chicken on a metal tray with a lip and steam over high heat for about 25 minutes until just cooked. Remove from the steamer and leave to cool, covered with foil so it doesn’t dry out.
  3. Cook the clams:
  4. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and clams and any juices collected in the tray when steaming the chicken. Put a lid on the pan and cook until the clams open, then immediately take them out of the pan, reserving the juices. When cool enough to handle, extract clam meat and put into the reserved juices.
  5. Make the dressing:
  6. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 160°C. Add the shallots and fry until golden and crisp. Remove, drain on paper towels and then put in a bowl. Add the soy sauce so they soften. Set the oil aside to cool. Put the spring onions, ginger, salt and 250 ml of the cooled oil in a blender and purée until the oil is green and the spring onions are broken up. The aim is to incorporate the spring onions and ginger with the oil, rather than making an emulsion. Strain through muslin by letting the oil drip through slowly. It’s not appropriate here to press the solids through the sieve.
  7. Assemble the dish:
  8. Take the breast fillet off the chicken and cut into slices. Arrange on plates with a couple of clams per person. Moisten the chicken with drops of the heated clam juices. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of dressing on each plate and scatter with some of the softened deep-fried shallots.
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