I made this up b/c I was craving that moist, velvety chicken like some chinese restaurants have. You can season it with anything, really. CAVEAT: The skin is soft and pallid, not brown and crisp like a baked chicken.
- 1A few hours, or the day before: prepare a rub by toasting peppercorns and salt in a small skillet over med-high heat until salt turns beige or golden. You can double or treble recipe and save for future uses.
- 2when cool enough to handle, grind salt-peppercorn mixture in very clean coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle
- 3On a clean cutting board, split rinsed chicken down the breast with shears or a big knife. pull breast halves apart and push chicken flat on cutting board.
- 4Coat entire chicken with peppercorn mixture. Don’t oversalt! You may have some rub leftover. put chicken in non-reactive plate or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, leave to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or, ideally, a day.
- 5Boil a couple quarts of water for steaming in the lower section of a large oriental steamer pan, or any steamer pan that will accommodate the chicken laid flat.
Place chicken skin side up on steamer insert atop boiling water.
- 6Sprinkle ginger and garlic on chicken, then scallions and cilantro sprigs. Cover, adjust heat to med-high for a steady boil.
- 7Steam for 30-40 minutes, until juices are clear, or meat at thigh joints are no longer pink when cut.
- 8Serve whole on a platter, or cut into pieces Chinese style before serving. Serve with rice, of course, and a your favorite Chinese green vegetable. Delicious at room temp or cold too, or as a Chicken Salad ingredient.
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