I'm not sure what the actual english name of this dish should be... Soya Sauce braised chicken? Five-spice (coincidentally there were FIVE members of Spice Girls group, gosh they should make a Chinese band equivalent of that group..Star Anise, Szechuan Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves and Cumin!) Chicken? The chinese name for this dish simply refer to Soya Sauce directly or the texture of the chicken.. Smooth. Until there's a better name, let's just call it Soya Sauce chicken.
For those who chanced upon this blog first time, I have to confess my love for Soya Sauce first time on this blog. There is such a variety of Soya Sauces with varying consistencies that I can always find one to suit any dish.
My Mum is the greatest influence on my love for food. She does a wicked Soya Sauce Duck that no one can compare to. To date, I am still learning from her how to make the perfect Soya Sauce which plays the most vital role in the dish. Besides knowing the exact amount of Five-spice powder to add, caramelizing the sugar in the sauce is an important procedure too. For chicken dishes, Rose wine maybe added and the cooking time is much shorter than for other meat such as Duck. To me, this dish is more of a stew where long period of slow cooking is required for the flavours to penetrate the meat and cooking the meat till it's tender.
Of course besides meat dishes, one can apply the same sauce to Vegetables and Hard boiled Eggs too. As featured in the picture (which doesn't look that appetising), Chinese Radish or Daikon is the most perfect vegetable for cooking with Soya Sauce. The slow cooking process enables the sauce to cook the radish till it is tender and juicy!
For some of you, the dish looks like a bowl of black liquid and perhaps it doesn't whet your appetite at all. But once you tried the sauce (or gravy.. I'm not sure which is correct in this case).. the wonderful mix of spices paired with meat juices and leaving you with a palate of sweet and salty. You will understand why I will kill to perfect this dish.
I'm afraid I do not have the recipe for this dish as I usually adjust each ingredient to suit my taste depending on the quantity of meat or vegetable. But if you have a question about how to make the sauce, do leave me a comment and I will try my best to help!