Dish prepared in July 2011
I'm calling this chicken dish this way to distinguish the usual soy sauce braised chicken that is oh-so common.
As some of you may know, I come from Perak and in Perak, a lot of Cantonese terms are different from other parts of Malaysia. We call light soy sauce as 白油(bak yau) and dark soy sauce as 黑油(hak yau). I know it sounds funny to you, but it's the way it's called here. I am proud to be a Perakian and I never change the way I call it , even when I was staying in Klang Valley for 10 years. The soy sauce terms are just 2 of the many that is different. I haven't even touch on 角龟(kok gwai, kuih)，青瓜(cheang gua, cucumber)，荷兰水(hor larn sui, carbonated drinks)，荷兰属(hor lan shu, potatoes)，Kopi 雪(shuit and not ping, iced coffee), 5 Gor Lui (5 sen), Yat Chien (10 sen), so on and so forth. Haven't heard of those, nevermind. The last 2 were monetary terms that I have no idea how to type in Chinese to make it sound like it is when spoken in Cantonese. But those of you who have heard of these, I'm sure it tickles you pink. Same goes to how it tickles us pink when we hear Klang Valley folks talk.
My aunt, 大姑姐, first introduced me this dish， 白油鸡 when I was 15. She taught me how to cook it, and the ratio to go by for the soaking sauce. And it was very easy and nice. When I cooked this again for my friends, they all nicknamed it 咸湿鸡 (hamsap chicken, which meant horny chicken) , because it was wet, and soaked in soy sauce. I even cooked a whole chicken with this sauce for a cooking competition during my Girls' Brigade years, and everybody awed at my chicken, but then, the only judge didn't like the smell of star anise. Too bad lor! My team mates loved it and that is more than enough!
Now, let's talk about the recipe. It uses a ratio of 1 part sugar to 2 parts soy sauce. A lot? Yes. But it's like that. And you add in aromatics like star anise, shallot, spring onion and ginger. Make sure you use a not so salty light soy sauce. Get a good one. But I don't recommend Kikkoman for this. Use Chinese light soy sauce instead. I used Knife brand this time. Lee Kum Kee will work well too. But then my aunt will recommend Angel brand from Bidor Kwong Heng. If you want to soak a whole chicken, I suggest you double up the soaking sauce. It may not cover the whole chicken while it's in the pot. But after it is cooked, you may want to transfer the chicken to a bowl that fits the chicken snugly or a ziplock bag. Pour the sauce over and soak it for another 2 hours before serving.
Soy Sauce Soaked Chicken
Recipe source: Wendyywy's Big Aunt
1 cup water
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 stalk of spring onion, white and light green parts only.
2 shallots, peeled and lightly smashed
1 star anise
few slices of ginger, (I used 25gm of peeled ginger, use more to tone down the sugar)
6 medium sized chicken drumsticks, weighing about 800gm.
1. Put light water, soy sauce, sugar, spring onions, shallots, star anise and ginger into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Put in chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked. Make sure sauce is almost enough to cover chicken. You can add more water if you want, and reduce it later. Remember to turn chicken once a while so that every side of the chicken is bathing in the sauce. A whole chicken may take 40-60 minutes to slowly cook. High heat will make the chicken rough.
3. Turn of the heat and let the chicken soak in the sauce for 2 hours before serving. Reduce sauce if too watery and light. Reheat if it's needed.
*Best done in the afternoon to be served for dinner*