when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
whenever Cactus and i have dim sum dine outs, i never fail to order the red color Phoenix Claws/Fung Zau (i googled it up..i never knew its name, always referred to it as kai keok or ‘the chicken feet dish‘) or braised chicken feet with black beans dish..and i normally finish it all by myself, as Cactus is not a fan of chicken feet..i don’t mind at all, as it just means more chicken feet for me..hehe..
so, yesterday i was hankering for some and Cactus is in Bangkok for work and i’m not the kind who likes to dine out alone..i thought of whipping up the dish myself as i was also lazy to drive out and get a takeaway from the restaurant we always frequent for dim sum..
i didn’t have any chicken feet in the freezer, but there was a tray of chicken neck that i bought on impulse..the lazy bug’s poison was so strong when it bit me, i was also too lazy to drive out and get me some chicken feet from the supers..so, i used the necks instead..Cactus doesn’t fancy necks either, so greedy me got to finish the whole tray all by myself..a tray’s worth is really not much, as chicken necks are mostly bones than meat..i love snacking on chicken necks, picking and biting the meat around and in between the bones..very satisfying indeed, when i could clean every bit of meat out and leave the bones looking bare..
i let the frozen stiff necks thaw out a bit in room temperature..halfway through, i rinsed them briefly under running filtered water and let them drain in a colander before cutting each neck into half and marinating them with a light and dark soy sauce marinade (i OD-ed on the amount of dark soy sauce..)..then i left them in a fridge to marinate for about half an hour..
the recipe i found on Kuali.com calls for salted black beans, and i happen to have a jar of it in the pantry..another recipe i googled online calls for red yeast rice, which gives the dish its distinctive red color..i could substitute it with red food coloring, but i ran out of it..so i skipped both, and worked with whatever i had..
other ingredients include minced garlic, thinly sliced ginger and red chillies..the rest are rock sugar, shao hsing wine, and more light soy sauce..it’s super easy to make and packs a lot of flavor..
first thing i did was to deep-fry the marinated chicken necks in hot oil for a while..then, i set them aside to drain off excess oil on a paper towel..in a small pan, i sauteed the trio of spices in a bit of peanut oil until fragrant..then i added in about a tablespoon and a half of salted black beans and sauteed it for about a minute..and then i poured in about 2-3 cups of water, a few pieces of rock sugar, sloshed a bit of shao hsing wine in, and also about a tablespoon of light soy sauce, let the whole thing come to a simmer and dumped in the deep-fried necks..i let it braise until the liquid has reduced considerably..
while waiting, i prepared a steamer..when the braising liquid has dried up into a thick gooey consistency, i scooped out the chicken necks into a shallow bowl and placed it in the steamer to steam away on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes..and then, voila! dinner’s ready~
i had the braised chicken neck with stir-fried pucuk manis (one of my utmost favorite vege) and steamed sweet potato..i know..what a mish mash of dishes together, but my dinner time hunger was satisfyingly satiated~
Braised Chicken Neck With Black Beans