Drunken Chicken with Bruised Salad

Must say... Masterchef Australia is really my favourite of all the "Masterchef" programs (followed by UK)... the Dutch version... mwah... sorry for that.

This is a recipe of contender Alvin

Serves 4

1L shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
500ml mirin
1-2L water, or enough to cover chicken
80g gula melaka (Malaysian palm sugar)
1 whole chicken
4-6cm ginger, thickly sliced

Bruised salad

3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbs roasted peanuts
1 tbs dried shrimp, soaked, drained
2 bird's eye chillies
2 lime cheeks
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
6 snake beans, cut into 4cm lengths
2 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 tsp sesame oil


2 tbs very finely chopped gula melaka (Malaysian palm sugar)
juice of 2 limes
2-3 tbs fish sauce

1. Place the shao xing, mirin, water and palm sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chicken and ginger, then cover and simmer gently for 45-60 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid.

2. For the bruised salad, place the garlic, peanuts and dried shrimp in a mortar and pestle and pound to a coarse paste. Add the chillies and bruise gently - the amount of heat you want from this salad depends on how hard you bruise the chillies. Add the lime cheeks and bruise to release some juice. Add the cherry tomatoes, beans and cucumber and mix through gently with a spoon.

3. For the dressing, place the palm sugar and lime juice in a bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Add fish sauce to taste and whisk to combine.

4. To serve, add enough dressing to coat the salad and then taste - it should be a good balance of sweet, salty and sour. Add sesame oil and mix to combine. Pile the salad onto a plate and drizzle with sesame oil.

5. Remove the chicken from the broth and place on a chopping board. Cut off the legs (thigh and drumstick), then chop off the end of the drumstick and trim the end so it is free of skin. Cut the legs into 2 pieces through the joint. Slice the breasts off the carcass and cut each one cut into 5 thick slices. Place the pieces of chicken in a shallow bowl, pour over a little broth and serve with the bruised salad.