Provenance of Dish
This simple homestyle dish was made by my mother, who heralded from Hunan, China. The basic flavor-potting is a type of Chinese slow braising which adds a reddish brown carmelization to the food being cooked. Various meats can be used and within a relatively short cooking time, a tender, succulent dish emerges with complex flavors using ingredients which don't overpower and complement one another. Adding the wood ear mushroom, which has many health beneifts, adds texture, absorbing the flavor of the ingredients being used while imparting its own very subtle nuance of earth.
10 chicken wings (whole) (subsitute with tofu to make this vegetarian)
1/4 C water
1/4 C Shaoxing wine or cooking wine/sherry
1/8 C dark soy sauce
1/8 C light soy sauce
1 t turbinado sugar (preferably but any sugar can be used)
2 slices of fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
3 scallions, sliced diagonally into 1" pieces
1 C fresh wood ear mushrooms, rinsed and trimmed of any hardened edges (or 3/4 C dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes in wam water and trimmed )
Place all of the ingredients into a pot.
Place the pot on the stove, turn on the heat and bring it to a boil.
Cover the pot, turn down the heat to a very low setting and simmer the chicken gently for 1/2 hour.
Remove the lid and cook uncovered for the next 1/2 hour at a slightly higher temperature, turning every 10 minutes so that the chicken browns evenly.
Place on a platter or bowl and serve.
Garnish if you'd like with chopped coriander or scallion to give it a little color.
This dish can also be served cold or at room temperature.