Preparation time: 5mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
This dish is quick and easy to prepare, and delivers on maximum flavour. Using the most succulent and flavoursome part of the chicken, the thighs (whole legs, thigh & drum would work too)are gently braised in an umami-rich bath of soy and bold Asian aromats. Finally they are paired with green beans which add a fresh crunch at the end. Best served alongside simply steamed jasmine rice to let the flavours really stand out.
8 free range chicken thighs or 4 legs
2 medium onions, chopped
Cloves from 1 bulb of garlic, peeled (this sounds like a lot, but rest assured the soy braising process will mellow and sweeten the garlic)
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
3 birds eye chillies, seeded and chopped (this can be omitted if you prefer not to have it spicy)
3 bay leaves
100ml dark soy sauce
200ml light soy sauce
200g green beans, topped and tailed, sliced into 3 pieces (about 1 inch)
1. In a large pot, heat a tbsp of veg oil and fry the chicken thighs skin side down over a medium heat to colour the skin, about 7 mins. Once a nice shade of golden brown, turn over to seal the meat side, about 3 mins. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
2. Turn the heat up to high and add the onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, chillies and bay leaves. Fry until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot along with the two soy sauces and water and bring to the boil.
3. After boiling for 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium, cover loosely and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the liquid reduces too much, add a splash more water to rehydrate.
5. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.
Recipe and photos by Mike Heywood, South London resident, regular customer, pork devotee, home chef and instagrammer extraordinaire. To see more stay tuned to this blog or follow Mike on Instagram @4TELIER
Properly Free Range Chicken, cut and sourced by The Butchery Ltd, farmed by Nick and Jacob, Fosse Meadows, Leicestershire.
Find out more about the only chickens we use and why they taste so good here.