1 free-range or organic chicken, rinsed and dried
4 spring onions cut in half
4 thick slices fresh ginger
12 dried Chinese red dates*
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup kecap manis
½ cup Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
½ cup yellow rock sugar or brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 bunches bok choy
4-6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
hot cooked jasmine rice
coriander to garnish
Stock: Put all the ingredients in a saucepan or Chinese braising pot just large enough to hold the chicken.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the flavours.
Add the chicken and top up with more water if needed to just cover. Place a plate on top to keep the chicken submerged. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is very tender, skimming occasionally to remove any scum that comes to the surface. Carefully lift out the chicken and place in a dish. Cover to keep warm.
Bring the stock back to the boil, add the bok choy and eggs and simmer until the greens are tender.
To serve: Carve the chicken. Place the rice in serving bowls and top with the chicken, bok choy and an egg. Ladle over some of the stock. Do not eat the ginger and cinnamon stick. Garnish with coriander.
Pantry Note: Red dates are available in packets from Asian food stores along with all the other Asian ingredients in this recipe.