New Year, New you. Right? I really hate this statement. Where did it ever enter our heads that just because the calendar added an extra year, our old selves are shed or no longer part of the equation. I’ve been working on myself, spending quality time with my friends and community and I want all of that to come with me into 2019. I want all of the things I’ve learned, the wisdom I most likely painstakingly added to my bank, to usher me into 2019. How do you feel about this idea?
In keeping with this idea, I chose an album that believe it or not, came out in 2005. This album carries with it, for me, incredible memories and knowledge. Incredible things I learned about myself. This album ushered me into my freshman year in college. It was instrumental to me the semester I studied abroad in Italy. This was way back when buying digital albums was still a thing. I had the digital album on my iPod shuffle. Italy was good to me in so many ways and it also had a few veins of not so good. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of who I was, or maybe I was trying to be someone who I wasn’t and my body noticed. I started using food to fill this void, to try to get me back. To counteract that, because I don’t think we understand that we’ve lost ourselves until much further down the road, I would run at the track about a mile from my apartment. This album kept me sane as I tried to run lap after lap, chasing the self I didn’t know I had lost. Fake Palindromes on repeat, “so you bite on a towel and hope it won’t hurt too bad”. Such an unsettling song, creepy lyrics really and it fit the empty space I was carrying around so well. All this to say, that I want to take every single learned piece of information about myself, that I deem valuable and necessary into whatever year I choose. Thank you very much.
So I have the ‘old’ with The Mysterious Production of Eggs. A dish that I thought would pair with this wonderful album and mark the calendar shift adding one year, is one that my husband and I have been enjoying regularly since being in Seattle – Peking Duck. I wanted to make it at home though and if hubby and I have duck, it is definitely from one of the bbq stores in the International District. So I present to you, a delicious Peking Chicken that is almost as good as the crispy duck.
Inspired by Joyce at Pups with Chopsticks
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (for colour)
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 5-6 slices ginger
- 3 teaspoons five spice powder, divided
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- Sprinkle 1 tsp of the five spice powder inside the chicken cavity.
- In a ziploc bag, combine all of the next 5 ingredients, mix and add the chicken. Marinate overnight, turning the ziploc bag regularly, so you evenly coat the chicken.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge around 30 minutes before you are going to cook it. Remove it from the marinade. Save the ginger pieces from the marinade and stuff this inside the chicken. Place the rest of the marinade in a saucepan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Take a baking sheet, line this with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. You want airflow around the chicken, so whatever you have to do to create this (e.g. foil, beer can style) do it.
- Place the chicken in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the chicken and baste it. If you have oil in the bottom of the pan, use this. If not, spray canola oil works wonders. Repeat this every 20 minuter for a total of 3 times or until the chicken has been in the oven for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, add the honey to the saucepan with the marinade in it. Heat on low and whisk well. You want a slightly thicker sauce.
- Once the chicken has been in the oven for an hour and you’ve basted/sprayed it three times, start basting it with the marinade, ideally using a pastry brush. I found that the pastry brush really helped the marinade stick.
- Paint your chicken with the marinade every 10 minutes. Check your chicken temperature after the second time you gave it a marinade sponge bath. The chicken should reach around 160-165. Once its reached this temperature, its done. If after the second marinade it has not reached this temp, place it back in the oven and continue adding the marinade every 10 minutes.
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Definitely serve it with the delicious ginger scallion sauce – see the link in notes.
I’ve linked Joyce’s original recipe above but here it is again
It is a delicious recipe and I can tell she put a lot of thought into it. I made a few modifications here and there and put the recipe into a format that works with how my brain works. You must also make her delicious ginger scallion sauce – this really elevated the dish.
Looking to make this a full meal? You could go simple, sauteed baby bok choy or go extra and do some delicious kung pao style brussels sprouts. Serve with whatever rice you choose, but white rice is really the way to go.