Everyone loves this dish—especially the cook, who has it waiting to steam while he or she prepares their stir fries and salads. It’s a wonderful aid in preparing a Chinese banquet.Jerry Weinberg
The best way to make this is bones-and-all, cutting chicken into bite size pieces with a good Chinese cleaver—but avoid using cleaver for chopping through, for example, beef or pork bones. (I bought a nice cleaver for my friends Bert and Ruth—since I regularly cook at their place. Next time I went over, there was a huge 3/4 C-shaped bump protruding from the center of the blade. Seems their son Adam had had to shorten the trunk of that year’s Yule tree. What a guy!)
- 3 pounds whole chicken (or 2# mixed breast and thigh meat into bite sized pieces)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons oil (OO or veggie)
- 10 dried mushrooms (quarter sized)
- 4-6 Chinese pork sausages (rinsed and sliced on the angle about ¼" thick)
- In a mixing bowl, cornstarch, soy, dry sherry, molasses, salt, oil. Stir to combine very well, add chicken, mix all together, cover and refrigerate.
- Put mushrooms in a heatproof bowl, pour boiling water to cover. Cool, squeeze out excess moisture, cut away roots, slice in half.
- To assemble—may be done the day before. In an attractive 9” diameter heatproof platter with sides, spread the chicken in an attractive layer. Then make a circle near the outside with the sausage. Make a circle of mushrooms an inch in from the sausage. Repeat till you have no more sausage or mushrooms.(I don’t like putting plastic wrap or aluminum directly on food. Here, make a 9” circle of wax or parchment paper, spread over the chicken and sausage, then cover with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator.)
- In a Chinese steamer with at least 5” of boiling water in the bottom, place the top level of the steamer, with the uncovered chicken sausage platter. Steam strongly for 1 ½ hours. Carefully remove the chicken platter and serve it on an adequate-size, stable trivet.
- Decorate when you put dish out, with shredded scallion greens and, if you like, cilantro leaves.