I used to buy the Emperor Herbs premix from Seah’s spices to prepare this dish. It’s pretty decent and quite the best that I had so far. But knowing my usual self to wanna challenge myself to using less of premix and preparing my own spices from scratch, I decide to make my own Emperor Herbal Chicken. As compared to the premix, the one I prepared has a more natural and authentic herbal taste, with a delicate and fragrant aroma from the well brewed chicken essence.
To neutralise the bitterness from the herbs, I deliberately prepared the broth with some dried scallops as well which added sweetness to it. This is especially useful if you are intending to prepare this dish for the kids as they might not be able to take the herbal taste.
Not sure if you all have noticed, I have slightly revamped the blog to categorised all the recipes into just a few main ones so that any cooking or baking noob would be able to follow through easily.
“Homely Cooking 家常小煮” – refers to all dishes that can be easily prepared within 7 steps. As simple as it can be, this category of cuisine are ideal for those who are desiring to prepare a quick and fuss free meal. I was deciding what should fall under this category when the lucky 7 comes to my mind ! So what should be better than anything that can be easily done up within 7 steps. And this category probably carries the bulk of all the recipes featured in the blog as it is particularly suitable for people like myself who are working full time and need a quick fix thereafter.
“Speciality Dishes 特色精选” – refers to all dishes that can more elaborate to prepare and definitely requires more than the simple 7 steps as above to beef up. It is mainly for my weekend preparation where time is more abundant and being able to stir up more exquisite dishes. Generally, this category of dishes requires more ingredients as well.
I will touch on the rest of the categories in the next posting as they are still in the midst of being categorised in sequence !!
Coming back to the Emperor Herbal Chicken, I used a whole fresh chicken that was ordered from PurelyFresh online. However, if you find that being too much, using a few pieces of whole chicken legs with bone in is an alternative that I will go for at times too.
Hope everyone will enjoy this Emperor Herbal Chicken well like me !! The monday blues are starting to kick in already. Gosh, why are weekends forever so short ?!
- 1 whole fresh chicken
- ½ tbsp dark soya sauce
- 2 pcs dang gui （当归）
- 6 pcs dang shen （党参）
- 3 pcs yu zhu （玉竹）
- 10 pcs red dates （红枣）
- 1 tbsp wolfberries （枸杞子）
- 5 pcs dried scallops
- 900ml water
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chicken powder
- 1 tbsp huatiao wine
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 pc aluminium foil
- 1 pc cellophane film paper
- Wash and pat the chicken dry. Rub the chicken entirely with dark soya sauce.
- Using a sharp skewer, poke the chicken all over with it, in particular the thigh area. (As the thigh area is often the part where the meat tends to take longer to be cook through.)
- Rinse the herbs and soak them in water briefly.
- Add all the ingredients for the herbal broth into the water in a deep wok and allow it to boil.
- After the broth has boiled, add the chicken.
- Cover the wok and allow it simmer for a further 40 minutes on medium heat, turning the chicken once halfway through the cooking time.
- Add all the rest of the seasoning ingredients into the herbal broth and stir slightly to mix well.
- Add in the thickening solution and increase the heat to high.
- In a large deep steaming bowl, place the aluminium foil followed by the cellophane film paper on top.
- Place the chicken together with all the herbs and the broth into it and wrap it up.
- Place the bowl on a steaming rack, making sure that's enough water to steam for a further 2 hours on medium heat.
- Unwrap the foil and serve directly as desired.