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Celebrating Chinese New Year with Shanghai Split Chicken

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To truly experience the wondrous joy of Chinese New Year (this year being the Year of the Horse), one must surround themselves with color, joy, laughter and great food. You don't have to be Chinese to celebrate this festive time of the year and many cities across American will be holding parades to honor the Year of the Horse during the 15-day celebration. Personally, I can't think of a better way of celebrating than with some classic dishes from China (real Chinese food, not Americanized Chinese food).

This entree style dish was created by Chef Larry Edwards after a eating holiday in Shanghai. He took the tastes of this Asian wonderland, created a glaze to brush on a split chicken and then roasted it to perfection. The final result is one of the tastiest Asian chicken dishes you will ever wrap your lips around.

The process of splitting a chicken is quite easy. Take your whole chicken and remove the entire length of the back bone (very easy to do with a pair of kitchen shears). Then take a paring knife (the small size makes it easier to use) and separate the chicken ribs from the chicken. Once separated, use the kitchen shears to cut them right out. Then simply use a sharp knife to separate the two breast halves from the bone (discard the breast bone or save it for stock) and you have a split chicken. Okay, now you're set to prepare Shanghai Split Chicken!

Ingredients needed for Shanghai Split Chicken (serves 2 as an entree)

  • 1 whole chicken, split
  • 1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbs. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. sherry
  • 1 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients, except the chicken, until smooth.
  3. Lay the split chicken out on a baking sheet and brush liberally with the glaze.
  4. Place in oven and roast 45 minutes, basting with the glaze about every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the chicken cool slightly before cutting into serving pieces.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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