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Paradise Found

Communist Chicken

It is red but we have yet to establish its political credentials. When food is this good we're sure you don't give a damn about where the chicken is leaning. Mona Farrugia invites you to tuck in.

 
Communist Chicken

Information

Main Ingredient Chicken
Preparation Time 5-15 minutes
Cooking Time 2 hours
Course Main
Recipe Serves 4
Recipe Type Oriental
The last time I bought a ‘cheap’ chicken was when I had no choice. We had a Mona’s Meals Meat Workshop and we needed to let the students know the difference between corn-fed and well, cheap. The corn-fed seemed to puff up with a simple roasting and its meat was as usual wonderful, and so full of flavour. The cheap was disgusting, slicked with whatever the chicken was eating and half its original size after roasting.

This is why I always end up roasting a good chicken: it does bring out the best in it. Nonetheless, that can be boring, which is where this recipe comes in.

The Communist Chicken uses all the spices and ‘oriental’ stuff I always buy too much of and never end up using: cinnamon sticks from India (where they use a much larger version and reserve the small sticks for sweet recipes), dark soy sauce (for some reason most recipes use ‘light’, which does not mean ‘diet’) and my trusty bottle of dry sherry (although if you can be bothered buying very expensive Xiaoxing wine, that’s what you should use).
It takes quite a bit of cooking – around two hours in total – but you don’t really need to do anything apart from wait. So if you want to plonk the chicken in the sauce and let it cook while getting on with something else, Mona Farrugia thinks this recipe is perfect.
Ingredients
3 ‘half’ large cinnamon sticks (if you can get them: otherwise use 2 normal ‘rolls’) a teaspoon of local fennel The peel from a whole tangerine and from an orange (preferably local – smell the skin because you don’t need the juice – and roast it in the oven to concentrate the flavours) 300ml dark soy sauce (or Tamari, the Japanese version) 2 tablespoons heaped Tagatose (or sugar if you really don’t care) 1 star anise 1 ½ litres water 1 corn-fed or free-range chicken
Method


Place all the ingredients except for the chicken in a casserole and bring to the boil.

Simmer for around half an hour.

Place the chicken, breast side down, and cook for around 45 minutes

Turn the chicken ‘round and cook for another 45 minutes.



I like to serve this with some parsnip mash: boil some peeled and chopped parsnips, add a slab of butter then whizz with a blender

Shopping Tips
Do I need to add that you should be buying corn-fed chicken, preferably fresh? Zammeats stock it [@ Arkadia in St. Julians and their Swatar shops].
 

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Mona Farrugia
May 14, 2010
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oana
October 10, 2010
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Free range versus corn fed? You read the book!

 
 
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