Masterstock Chicken? What is this sorcery I ask?

This was never going to win a beauty contest. But you'll have to take my word for it, it's worth totally delicious.
This was never going to win a beauty contest. But you’ll have to take my word for it, it’s totally delicious.

So a master-stock is a Chinese cooking liquid that is used to poach or braise a protein in. The reason it’s called a master-stock is because it is usually reserved after use and frozen for reuse later, gaining depth in flavor and general richness with every use. Sounds pretty badass right? Not only so, but apparently some master-stocks in China are kept for so long that they’re passed from one generation to the next! Faaantastic. So what does it taste like then? The chicken, once cooked or poached in the stock, is left to swim in it for up to 3 hours to let the flavors of the stock infuse and really penetrate the chicken, leaving you with the moistest, tastiest, juiciest piece of Asian chicken you’ll have ever tasted. Not only that, but it’s damn easy to make. The recipe is after the jump.

Serves 4 This recipe is modified from the Kylie Kwong one found here.

4 chicken quarters with the skin on and excess fat trimmed

2 cups of Chinese rice wine (to be replaced by dry sherry or gin)

1 1/2 cups of soy sauce

1 tbsp of miso paste

1 tbsp of sesame oil

3/4 cup of brown sugar

3/4 cup of sliced ginger

6-8 garlic cloves, either chopped or crushed

6-8 strips of orange zest

4 cinnamon sticks

6-8 star anise

2 Thai chilies split open and deseeded

3-4 spring onions sliced

Basically just dump everything into a very large pot, and add enough water to make 4L of liquid. Heat on the stove top and bring to a simmer for about 40mins just to let all the flavours swim together and dance their funky dance. If you’re going to cook the chicken straight away, just place in the simmering liquid, otherwise, take of the heat and bring to a simmer again to place the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 15-20mins, take off the heat and allow the chicken just to swim in the liquid goodness for at least an hour, and up to 3. Reheat again to just about a simmer before serving with some greasy white rice. This is spectacular! Oh! and don’t forget to strain the masterstock and re-freeze for future use. Hope you enjoy 🙂

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