Monday, September 15, 2008
Chicken Long Rice
Aloha. Tourists rarely get to participate in the celebrations that are so much a part of Hawaiian family life. The family luau is a gentle affair and the food is remarkably good. Chicken Long Rice is a favorite dish and often appears on the table; it gets points for simplicity, economy and ease of preparation. It also gets points for taste; it's delicious and, I must admit, addicting. It's become one of my favorite comfort food and I'm not that all easy to please. No one is sure how it got it's name; it contains no rice and bean thread noodles are what gives it that glassy mien. The dish begins as a soup, but as it sits the broth is absorbed by the noodles and a bowl of soup becomes a bowl of noodles. Ingredients for this recipe are readily available.
Chicken Long Rice
3 pounds chicken thighs with bone and skin
2-1/2 quarts water, divided use
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh, peeled, and minced ginger
1 large onion (8 to 12-oz.) thinly sliced
1 7.5-ounce package Sai Fun (bean thread) noodles
2 teaspoons chicken base or 2 cubes chicken bouillon
3/4 cup chopped scallions, divided use
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1) Place chicken in a large (6-quart) pot. Add 2 quarts water and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; skim froth. Add ginger and onions and continue to cook for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Reserve broth. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones, and shred meat.
2) While chicken is cooking, pour warm water over bean thread noodles; let sit until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Cut the noodles in 3-inch lengths. Drain. Set aside.
3)When broth is ready, stir in noodles, chicken base and remaining 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and 1/2 cup scallions; cook over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes to warm chicken. Add salt to taste. Stir in cracked pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with remaining 1/4 cup scallions and chopped cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.