Monday, April 26, 2010

Shoyu Chicken

If there is one thing that I've learned and live by: is that I will never ever be able to make any dishes the way my mom (or many one else's mom) makes them. But, by that same token, if there is one thing that I learned from my mom about cooking is: "just make 'em taste good, braddah!"
Yeah, my mom talks like that.
And, yes. I do, "make 'em taste good...".
So, with all that said, here is my Shoyu Chicken:

1 dozen chicken thighs w' skin and bones
2 cups brown organic sugar (organic -  being optional)
1 1/2 cup of Aloha Shoyu (soy) Sauce
4 cloves of garlic
3-4 slices of ginger
1 table spoon of pepper corn
2-3 bayleaves

In a big pot. Heat about a table spoon of oil and then brown your chicken.
Don't just throw everything in there. Put as much of the chicken as you can fit in there so you can brown and cook you chicken evenly. Brown both sides and then remove and put into a separate bowl.
Drain oil and repeat process until all your chicken is browned.
Don't worry about the chicken being fully cooked. All you want to do is brown the chicken and the pot and cook off some of the chicken fat. But not all of it.

When all your chicken is browned, put it all back into the pot with the garlic, ginger, peppercorn and bay leaves. Cover it and turn the heat down to medium for about half hour.
This will finish cooking most of your chicken and create a broth at the same time.

After about a half hour, drain the broth and fat into a separate bowl and add the sugar, and shoyu (soy) sauce into the pot.
Don't stir it! Just cover it and leave it alone for about 15-20 minutes.
Bring the heat to a medium-low temperature.

Make a pot of rice.

While you are doing that the broth and chicken fat sitting in the bowl will begin to separate.
Once it's separated, slowly and gently remove the chicken fat from the broth.
This should be a slow process. Take your time.

*note~Shoyu sauce is Japanese soy sauce. 
Hawai'i people love using the Aloha brand shoyu, being that it had a lighter flavor than most of the Japanese shoyu sauces, Chinese soy sauces or any other Asian soy sauce out there.
My favorite shoyu sauce is Kikoman, because of it's richer flavor.
Now you know....

Once you take out all of that chicken fat, put the broth back into the pot.

One of my favorite cooking techniques is making reductions. Which is basically cooking a liquid to the point where most of the H2o is taken out of the sauce. This technique leaves you with a thicker and richer sauce.

So at this point, I remove the cover from the pot and bring the heat up to about medium high and basically watch the sauce boil down. Feel free to carefully turn your chicken over one-by-one to ensure that all the pieces are being cooked evenly in the sauce. You should also use a tea or table spoon, to drizzle the sauce over the top pieces.
This could take about 20 minutes or so.

Make what ever kind of veggies you feel like eating.
For some uncanny reason, when ever I make Shoyu Chicken, I always end up having corn with it. I just happens.

Once you sauce attains a slightly syrupy viscosity, your chicken is done.

This is even better with my famous fried rice:


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