Complete and total comfort food. And one of those odd recipes that doesn't necessarily sound like it will work. The majority of the "cooking time" for this chicken recipe involves no actual heat.
And does it really feel like velvet? Yes, actually, it really does. Smooth and not at all stringy, super moist and flavorful. I even used some of the poaching liquid to saute baby bok choy for a perfect homestyle cozy dinner.
1 3-pound chicken, rinsed and dried
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (low sodium)
1 cup dark soy sauce
1 cup Chinese rice wine (preferably Shaoxing)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 bunch scallion, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 strips of orange zest
1 tablespoon salt
3 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
1 dried red chile
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
Add everything except the chicken and the cilantro to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Carefully lower the chicken in breast side down. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and don't touch the pot for 30 minutes. Then flip the bird over, cover, and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken. Break down into legs, thighs, wings, and breasts and arrange on a platter. Pour some of the poaching liquid on top of the chicken and garnish with cilantro.