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Television show host and cookbook author Andrew Zimmern loves this combo of poached chicken and wonton soup, both of which he tops with super-flavorful spices and aromatics. He cooks the chicken in stock, creating an extra-tasty broth that he then uses to poach the wontons AND serve as the wonton soup base. It's a smart, practical way to utilize the broth, but if you only want to make the chicken, that's totally fine!
Here are his tips for the best results:
1.) When poaching a chicken, to make the white meat meltingly tender, drop a washed and dried whole bird in boiling stock and cook, lowering the heat to maintain a simmer for 90 seconds, then turning off the heat. Cover and let it steep in the hot liquid. Ninety minutes later, it will be perfect.
2.) For texturally perfect wonton filling, add steamed, cooled, squeeze-dried and very well-minced cabbage to the mixture. Mixing in some crushed ice to emulsify the fat helps, too.
3.) Don't overfill anything. This advice extends to hand pies, empanadas, spring rolls, egg rolls, stuffed grape leaves, turkeys and especially dumplings and wontons! Underfilling is the secret to wrapped/sealed foods.
Get all the tips from our "tip-tastic" show here and check out Andrew's show, "Wild Game Kitchen," Monday nights on the Outdoor Channel.
For the poached chile chicken, bring stock, sliced ginger, halved cloves garlic and the 1 hot chile pepper to a boil in a large pot. Lower the chicken into the liquid. When liquid returns to a simmer, cover and cook for 90 seconds. Turn off heat and leave chicken in the liquid for 90 minutes.
Remove chicken from liquid and reserve liquid for the wonton soup. When chicken is cool enough to handle, hack with a cleaver and arrange meat in a wide rimmed bowl like an oversized pie plate. Or, remove meat from bones and slice the white and dark meat ¼ inch thick.
In a separate heatproof bowl, place the sliced garlic, cut Chinese chilies, minced hot red chile, minced ginger, sugar, chicken bouillon powder and ground white peppercorns and combine. Ladle hot oil (just heat oil in a small pan for a few minutes) over the dry ingredients. Stir and immediately add the black vinegar, soy sauce and hot chile oil or chili crisp and stir. Pour sauce over the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts and sliced scallions.
For the wonton soup, sprinkle a large tray with a dusting of cornstarch and bring the chicken poaching liquid to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, shrimp, cabbage, chives, wine, salt, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well slowly. Spoon about ½ ounce of filling onto each wrapper and wet the edge. Fold the wrapper in half (to form a half moon) and seal the edge. Next, bring the ends around and seal with more water to make wonton shape. Sit the wonton with the folds standing up on the prepared tray. (The recipe makes 24 to 32 wontons.) Poach in the chicken poaching liquid until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve, season the poaching liquid with soy sauce and ladle it and the wontons into bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds, scallions, chili crisp and carrot curls (if using).