Poached chicken, also known as bai qie ji, is a classic dish in China that’s enjoyed on special occasions. This traditional recipe served as the inspiration for our modern take on Soy Glazed Chicken Breast with Ginger-Scallion Sauce.
Inevitably, you will want to eat bai qie ji without poaching an entire chicken. I’ve tried making the dish by poaching chicken breasts and then topping them with soy sauce, ginger-scallion oil, and scallions on the days when I’m cooped up inside (arctic blast, anyone?) or just too lazy to put on real pants and go out to a restaurant. Healthy and tasty as it may be, it just doesn’t cut it. But I really wanted to “kick it up a notch,” as old Emeril would say.
Instead of serving traditional poached chicken, I pan-sear the chicken in a soy sauce glaze and finish it with a drizzle of ginger scallion oil. The end result was an alternative that was simple to prepare (much simpler than dealing with a whole chicken) and affordable for college students. Switching from pan-seared to grilled chicken breast in the summertime is an excellent way to elevate the dish.
If you like, you can use the ginger scallion sauce with the standard poached chicken recipe.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of dark mushroom soy sauce
For the Scallion Ginger Oil:
- 1/3 cup of oil
- 2-3 scallion stalks(white and green parts)
- 1 3- inch piece of ginger
- salt to taste
- Combine the hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil. Throw in some chicken breasts and marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
- Get started on the scallion ginger oil right away. Firstly, halve the scallions lengthwise. Get a ginger mincer. A grater or Microplane would also work. To make the sauce more enjoyable to eat, I used half and half. In a small saucepan, heat the oil to a temperature of about medium. Turn the heat down and add the ginger. Heat for ten minutes, checking frequently. Cook for an additional minute after adding the scallion. Remove from heat and sprinkle salt over. Putting aside.
- Put a couple of tablespoons of oil into a hot skillet or griddle. The chicken breasts should be spread out evenly in the pan. Sear for about 5 minutes total (about 4 minutes on each side). The chicken breasts can be basted with the leftover marinade as they cook if desired. It’s not essential to do this, though.
- When the chicken is done cooking, plate it and drizzle the ginger scallion sauce all over it. You can make a quick, healthy, and filling Chinese meal any night of the week by serving it with rice or noodles and some green vegetables.