"We've sold two cases of Shaoxing wine today!", the lady owner at the Asian grocery store exclaimed excitedly.
Such was the power of Masterchef. It was the weekend after the last episode of the Masterclass series aired. And one of the judges' favourite dishes the entire season? Drunken and Bruised, the signature dish of fellow Malaysian Alvin Quah.
The verdict? It was fantastic and definitely a keeper. Drunken, which is chicken poached in two bottles of shaoxing wine, is subtle, tender and delicate. Fellow bruised salad provides a stark contrast - bold and packed with strong savoury, nutty and spicy flavours. The dish is completed by the delicious third musketeer, shaoxing wine stock in which the chicken is poached.
Thank you Alvin. You may have not won Masterchef Season 2 (Adam who?), but your signature dish has definitely spurred the sales of shaoxing wine in my area if not around Australia!
DRUNKEN AND BRUISED (recipe from Alvin's blog)
1 medium-sized organic chicken
1L Shaoxing wine
60g dark palm sugar
2cm ginger, peeled and bruised
Bring Shao Xing wine, mirin, water, palm sugar and ginger to the boil. Gently place the chicken in the broth and turn down heat. Gently simmer for 45-60 minutes. Take off the heat and allow chicken to cool in the broth.
Serve chicken in a large bowl with the broth. Serve as part of a shared meal with steamed rice and bruised salad.
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and coarsely crushed
2 tbsp dried shrimp, rinsed and drained
2 small wedges of lime
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
8-10 snake beans, cut into 5cm lengths
4 bird’s eye chillies
1 lebanese cucumber, shredded
3 tbsp dark palm sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp lime juice
In a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, peanuts and dried shrimp to a coarse paste. Add lime wedges and bruise gently with pestle, then add tomatoes, beans and chillies, working them carefully with the pestle and a wooden spoon. The spiciness of this dish depends on how much you bruise the chillies. Mix in cucumber. Dress salad just before serving. Adjust the taste accordingly – salad should have a balanced combination of the heat from the chillies, the sourness from the lime juice, the saltiness from the fish sauce and the sweetness from the palm sugar.