I've been traveling, which I am sure you must have figured out since I haven't been posting any recipes. I've been desperate to get back to the kitchen and when I return from a lecture tour, I like to make things that I consider comfort foods and one of my favorites is roast chicken. Now, I often make roast chicken with lots of potatoes, onions, carrots and celery seasoned with thyme, but I was in the mood for one of my childhood favorites that I used to call "Soy Sauce Chicken." It is basted with a combination of soy sauce and rice wine and is served drizzled with the pan sauce that forms. My grandfather used to make it as a braised dish, but I discovered that I liked it better from the oven. It's really easy to make and only requires that you turn the chicken once. You start off by cooking it breast side down and then turn it over breast side up and that is when you start basting. But, since I am gluten sensitive and one of my good friends is Celiac, I use Tamari instead of soy sauce. The good news is that it is not as salty and still tastes wonderful - it's just missing the wheat in the processing. I served it with some stir fried cabbage, some chili sauce and rice and my friend was happy and I was comforted. This is also an easy dish to make for Chinese New Year when you want to serve chicken as a lucky food.
Tamari Roast Chicken
1 3 - 4 pound chicken
1/2 cup Tamari
1/3 cup Shaoshing Rice Wine
1/4 cup Hot Water
1 - 2 Tablespoons Honey
2 green onions, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
3 - 4 slices of fresh ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff chicken cavity with green onions, garlic cloves and ginger slices. Use an 8 inch square Pyrex dish or baking dish and put in hot water and honey. Mix to blend and then add in the Tamari and Rice Wine.
Put chicken breast-side down into the Tamari mixture and put into the oven to bake for 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and turn carefully, using two sets of tongs. Put back in oven and baste frequently cooking for another 45 minutes. Test for doneness - thermometer should read 165 degrees.
Remove from oven and put chicken on a serving plate to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Strain Tamari liquid and put into a serving bowl. Cut up chicken and drizzle with sauce.
Five Element Analysis
Chicken belongs to the Wood Element so that one is already covered. The Tamari adds the Water Element and the Rice Wine brings in the Fire Element. The green onions, ginger and garlic add the Metal Element, but the Earth Element only has that little bit of honey to represent it. Therefore, it would be good to serve some other Earthy foods like cabbage or cucumbers with the chicken or some Earthy fruit for dessert. The Metal Element also needs some support, so serve it with rice and the Fire element can be added with some chili sauce on the side or by serving with a green salad.