This one was a bit of an experiment and holy moly, I sure was pleased with the result. I used a poaching technique that I found on the website of Australia’s most successful food blogger, Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats (jealous much). I didn’t use her recipe but the method of poaching was totally fool proof and reminiscent of a Sous Vide method or water bath, as it is known. The poached chicken was so incredibly moist and juicy, it literally was like putting a hot knife through butter. I have been craving clean eating dishes over the past few days as once winter hits, I go a little nuts for the comfort food (you may have noticed) and I should probably lay off the winter coat a tad. This ticked every box as it was still warm and comforting but had a much lower fat content than my usual winter stodge and I just adore the clean flavours of Asian food. The Nahm Jim that sat proudly on top of the gorgeously fragrant and tender chicken added another layer of complexity and turned an already stellar dish into a total winner. Another added bonus…..the poaching liquid was awesome the next day when I turned some leftover poached chicken into a delicious, steaming bowl of Asian noodle soup.
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cooking time: 40 Minutes
$$ Medium Budget
For the Poached Chicken:
4 x 150gm chicken breast fillets
5cm piece of ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & bruised
2 spring onions, green parts thinly sliced and reserved for garnish
12 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 litre of chicken stock
1 litre of water
1 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of sea salt
Coriander leaves for garnish
1 1/2 cups of jasmine rice
2 cups of poaching liquid
For the Nahm Jim:
3 long green chillies, seeds removed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 a bunch of coriander
Juice of 1 lime
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of peanut oil
1 tbs of brown sugar
To make the Poached Chicken liquid, place the stock, water, ginger, garlic, spring onions, soy, salt and shiitake mushrooms in a large, deep pot. Bring to the boil with a lid on and once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Allow the stock to infuse at a really low simmer for a good half an hour or more, just gently bubbling away.
While the stock is infusing, place all of the Nahm Jim ingredients into a small processor and blitz until you have a fine paste like dressing. Set aside.
Use a slotted spoon to remove all of the aromatic ingredients from the poaching stock and discard everything but the mushrooms. Put the rice in a saucepan and ladle in two cups of stock, bring to the boil, stirring with a fork occasionally and once boiling, pop a lid on and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered for 12 minutes and then remove from the heat and allow to steam for 5 minutes.
As soon as you have the rice on bring the stock back to the boil and add the mushrooms and breast fillets. Cover with a lid and bring back to the boil and once boiling, turn the heat off and allow the chicken to cook in the residual heat for 20 minutes. Don’t be alarmed, it will cook through, delicately, for the perfectly poached chicken breast.
Fluff your rice with a fork just before serving and spoon the rice into a ramekin and then invert onto serving plates. Remove the poached chicken from the liquid and slice diagonally into 2 inch slices. Fan the chicken around the rice and pour half a ladle of the poaching liquid, gently over the rice & chicken before spooning the Nahm Jim on top of the breast pieces. Top with coriander leaves and slices of spring onion. Serve with steamed Asian greens of your choice.
The poaching liquid is deliciously fragrant and makes a great base for any kind of Asian style soup. As I said earlier, I had mine the next day however it is totally suitable to freeze for later use. The Nahm Jim is also suitable to freeze and is amazing served with fresh oysters or on any kind of grilled meat or seafood.
Leftover dried Shiitake Mushrooms? You may want to cook this…
Lunch the next day….