Honey, Ramps, Goji Berries
The restaurant Honey Butter Fried Chicken serves my favorite chicken dish in Chicago. I wanted to combine elements of the traditional American fried chicken with those of the drunken-style chicken popular in Taiwan. The chicken requires some advance preparation. Plan to begin the dish at least a day in advance. When not in season, scallions can be used in place of ramps for the emulsion. I consider this my signature dish.
6 chicken thighs, skin on, boneless
1 cup dried goji berries
3 cups Chinese cooking wine (Pearl River Bridge brand recommended)
6 cups richly flavored chicken stock
1/2 cup sesame oil
3 Tbl honey
Generously season chicken with salt and pepper at least six hours before cooking.
Put goji berries in a steamaer large enough to hold the chicken thighs in a single layer.
Place chicken thighs on top of berries and steam together for 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken thighs from the steamer and shock them in ice water. Once cool, pat dry.
Continue to steam the goji berries for another 15 minutes and then chill them.
Combine the chicken stock with the cooking wine (add the white parts of scallions, if using) and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain this broth. Season with salt and honey to taste.
Submerge the chilled chicken in this seasoned broth and refrigerate overnight.
Blanch the ramps (or the green part of scallions) and purée them with sesame oil until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Pour into a squeeze-bottle.
Time of service
Over high heat, sear the chicken thighs, skin side down, until golden and crisp.
For an elegant presentation, trim the chicken thighs into a neat square shape. See picture of plated dish for reference.
Place the thighs off-center on the plates. Dot the rest of each plate with goji berries and the ramp emulsion.
When serving, at the table pour the warmed honey-chicken broth onto the plate from a pitcher or small teapots.