My mom used to make this without the chicken; just cabbage, onions and sauce. She would make a giant plate of this and it would be the centerpiece, surrounded by small bowls of at least five different side dishes. And we would eat it with rice and soup. Because there was always soup. Man, I don’t know how she did that. Every.. Night.. Rice, soup, at least five different side dishes, and a meat dish.
I only added chicken mainly because I don’t have five different side dishes in my fridge at any given time. I only have one. And that is kimchi.
The chicken is first simmered for a short time then poached in the same hot water until it is cooked all the way through. This foolproof method results in a moist, perfectly cooked chicken.
Don’t throw away that water! Toss in the carcass and skin in the pot along with some aromatics and simmer for a few hours. Voila. Thick, gelatinous, chicken bone broth.
This is what I make when I want low-carb/paleo. I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like to labor in the kitchen for a healthy meal. It kind of defeats the purpose for me. I like my healthy food simple, clean, and straight-forward. So, this works for me!
The steps might seem long but this is an efficient recipe. While things are cooking you will be preparing. From start to finish, you should have this on the table in 45 minutes. I don’t even take out all the ingredients if I know I have it. I’ll immediately start the chicken before doing anything else.
To make gluten-free, use Tamari. To make Paleo use Coconut Aminos
Whole chicken size: This has only been tested with chicken in the 3-4 lb range. If you go smaller or larger the cooking time will have to be adjusted.
Flipping chicken over: Tongs work best for this. Grab chicken by the cavity, turn the opposite end of chicken up and let water drain out of cavity into pot, then flip over.
The cabbage cooks very quickly and needs most of your attention. You want to have the chicken shredded before cooking the cabbage. Otherwise, you’ll end up with cold cabbage and warm chicken.
If making stock, keep the water used for cooking chicken, break up the carcass as much as possible with your hands and throw it into the pot. Throw in the skins as well. Add some aromatics, bring to boil, lower to simmer and let it cook for a few hours. In my case, since I don’t know if I’ll use it for Asian recipes or not, I don’t use the well known mirepoix of celery and carrots. I use lobok, onion, garlic, green onions, and a piece of kelp.Poached Chicken and Stir Fry Cabbage with Spicy Sauce
Makes 4 servings. Takes about 45 minutes.
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 lbs
- 1 medium cabbage
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch slice ginger
- 3 green onions
- 1 T. + 1 t. toasted sesame oil
- 2 T. water
- salt to taste
- 2 T. soy sauce (see note for subs)
- 1 t. toasted sesame oil
- 1 t. crushed toasted sesame seeds
- 1 t. red pepper powder
Make chicken, prepare cabbage and sauce:
Place chicken in stock pot, breast side up. Just barely cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken over (see note), then let it cook for another 2 minutes. Cover with lid, turn off heat and let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove from pot – use tongs and grab the cavity, let the water drain out first then lift out – let it cool, then shred into large pieces (see note for making stock).
*If making stock get your aromatics ready and set aside before continuing on to next step.
While the chicken is coming to a boil, shred the cabbage. Thinly slice onions. Mince the garlic and separate 1/2 tsp of minced garlic. Peel and julienne the ginger super thin. Keep everything separate. You can just keep it on the cutting board.
In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and mix well.
Cook the cabbage:
Do not cook the cabbage until the chicken is shredded. Place a large saute pan over high heat. Add 1 t. of oil (any neutral oil will do), half of sesame oil, almost all the garlic (not the 1/2 tsp) and half of the ginger. Throw the sliced onion directly on top, then all the cabbage on top of the onion. Don’t stir. Add the water, then cover and let it cook for a few minutes. Uncover and carefully mix so the uncooked cabbage is moved to the bottom. Lower heat to medium high and let it cook another couple minutes without stirring. Add a fat pinch of salt and cook until cabbage is wilted and cooked to liking, stirring occasionally. Immediately transfer to large serving plate.
While the cabbage is covered and cooking, slice the green onions into thin slices.
Wipe out the saute pan and place over high heat for a minute or so. Lower heat to medium-low. Add the remaining sesame oil then the garlic and ginger. Let it cook for a couple minutes, stirring so it cooks evenly. Do not let it brown. Turn off the heat then add the shredded chicken along with a pinch of salt and toss to coat.
Place the chicken directly on top of the cabbage, and the green onions on top of the chicken. Pour the sauce evenly over the top. Serve immediately.