Grilled Star Anise Chicken on Wilted Greens

From issue #6.
Photography by Photography by Simon Devitt.
Grilled Star Anise Chicken on Wilted Greens

Serves: 6


6 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
½ cup kecap manis
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Chinese rice wine - Shaoxing
½ cup grated palm sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
peanut oil

4 bunches small bok choy
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon each white and black sesame seeds


Marinade: Place the chicken, flesh side down, in a shallow dish. Combine the kecap manis, soy sauce, rice wine, palm sugar, pepper, star anise and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan and heat gently until the palm sugar has melted. Cool, pour over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator, for up to 24 hours. Turn a couple of times while marinating.

Greens: Blanch the greens in boiling salted water, drain well and halve lengthways. Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, water and sesame seeds and mix well. When ready to cook, heat a barbecue or ridged grill to a medium heat. Too hot and the sugar in the marinade will burn. Grill the chicken until cooked through but still tender, turning once - about 10 minutes in all. Remove from the barbecue and rest, loosely covered.

While the chicken is grilling, transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil to reduce to a syrup. Set aside.
Brush the greens with the sesame mixture and grill just until heated through.

To serve: Arrange the greens on a platter or individual plates. Brush the chicken with the reduced marinade, slice diagonally and arrange on top of the greens. Serve immediately. Serves 6

Shaoxing wine: derived from glutinous rice, China’s most famous rice wine has a soft, rich flavour and is enjoyed like a fine sherry. The flavour enriches braised dishes.

Kecap Manis: a sweetened, thick soy sauce used to add richness to dipping sauces and marinades.
Available from Asian supermarkets