- Three Chicken Thighs. Thoroughly clean with excess fat trim. Kampung or Free Range Chicken Thighs would be more flavorful with firmer meat texture.
- Herbs – Huai Shan (Dried Chinese Yam), Yuk Chuk (Solomon’s Seal), Red Dates, Kei Zi (Wolfberries) and Dong Quai bits (Angelica Sinensis). All soak in warm water for about 5-10 mins.
- Optional – Dried Scallop, Dried Oyster (both soak in warm water for about 5-10 mins). Chestnut and Ginko Nut (both soak overnite). Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (soak overnite).
- Fresh Herbs : Sliced Ginger, smashed Garlic and Scallion – cut to 1-2 inches long.
- A mixture of Black Pepper, Sugar, Five-spice Powder (Not too much, can be overpowering), Salt, White Pepper and a dash of Sesame oil and Shaoxing Wine. A dash of Dark Soy for coloring. All to taste.
- ** Note : Just a dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient/spice flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice – no rocket scientific measurement here. Always taste your Seasoning !!! The trick is NOT the exact measurement, the trick is “to taste the Seasoning” and get ur preference balance of flavors !!!
Start by marinating the Chicken with all Seasoning Ingredients for at least a couple of hrs (longer period of time means flavorful).
With a big enough bowl, lay with Aluminium Foil then follow by another layer Parchment /Baking paper to form a catchment area. Make sure both large enough to wrap the Chicken. Next, lay all Ingredients at the bottom. Place the Chicken on top, pour all the marinating over the Chicken.
First, lift the Parchment paper and wrap the chicken – this help keeps the juice in and the Chicken moist. Then foil the Aluminium foil tightly to form a parcel. Make sure, everything is seal properly so tat no moisture will escape during the long steaming process. On high heat steam for abt 2-3 hrs, depending on ur preference of the softness, the heat and the size of the chicken.
Serve the Chicken as it is, with the wrapper on – simply place the whole parcel on a plate !!! Not only this presentation looks authentic, the experience of unwrapping the Chicken (even though it could be a bit messy) is well worthed. Because as U unwrap, tendrils of steam curl out, greeting you with the scent of nothing less than a perfect steamed bird dusted with a few aromatics and the haunting fragrance of herbs and spices. Every bit of goodness inside the parcel should be juicy and soft and tender..😋😋😋. And the sauce or almost soup like juice…… simply taste divine !!! Oooo btw, picking out the tender meat from the bone is simply a fantastic way of enjoying this – fit for an Emperor’s dish “Classic Emperor Chicken Thigh (药材皇帝鸡)“.