We were sitting outside with a book and a cocktail while our friend was preparing the chicken, so this is what we know: He may have added some extra garlic, and he stuck the pot of poached chicken in the fridge for several hours before it was time to grill, which was a great make-ahead trick. You can boil the chicken early and then enjoy the afternoon.When it's time to finish the chicken, you take it out, throw it on the grill to crisp the skin — it takes very little time, given the fact that it's already cooked — and, meanwhile, boil the liquid down to a thick, syrupy sauce. The chicken was juicy (no time to dry out on the grill) and peach-tinged from the poaching liquid that had seeped under the skin. Our only warning is that this dish is S-A-L-T-Y. Much of its flavor is from the soy sauce, and if you like salty food (we do), this is your bird. But with the concentrated finished sauce, plus the flavor that's already imparted to the chicken during poaching, it was just shy of sodium overload. Definitely use low sodium soy sauce, or maybe sub in some chicken broth. The original recipe is in How To Cook Everything, but it was also published in 2002 in the NY Times:
- Twice-Cooked, Full of Flavor from The Minimalist
And for those of you without a grill, Bittman posted a similar recipe that's finished in the oven:
- Soy-Poached Roast Chicken on Bitten
FYI, we didn't eat ours over rice, as Bittman suggests. We grilled potatoes instead.
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)