Chicken is an incredibly versatile meat. Whether you roast it, fry it or grill it it always seems to end up lovely. Despite this I have never before steamed chicken, despite being well aware of it as a common technique – particularly in Asia. Well, that all changed recently after I was at a friend’s house and couldn’t resist the beautiful aroma oozing from the kitchen which, upon asking, I discovered was indeed steamed chicken. This recipe is not the recipe he gave me as I must confess I forgot a few of the details, but while driving to the shops I cobbled this together in my mind. Lemon and ginger are a gorgeous combination and I knew they would fill the house with another beautiful smell, as well as ensure I ended up with a plump, juicy chicken.
- Chicken breasts
- Fresh lemon – juice and peel
- Crushed ginger – 1/2 teaspoon or so
- Finely minced garlic clove
- Squeeze of Runny honey
- Handful of Sesame Seeds
- Splash of Oil – sesame or vegetable
- Dried thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Use a potato peeler to gently peel the yellow of the lemon – don’t include the bitter white pith. Add to a bowl and squeeze in as much lemon juice as you can. Add 1/2 teaspoon or thereabouts of crushed ginger, a finely minced garlic clove, a handful of sesame seeds, small splash of oil and a small sprinkling of dried thyme.
- Season your chicken breasts and add to the mixture. Leave for anywhere between 1 hour and a day, and try to ensure you turn the chicken breasts at least once so you’ve had maximum coverage. As well as absorbing the flavour, this will help the acids of the lemon tenderise the meat.
- Place the chicken breasts in a small heatproof bowl in your steamer and cover with the juices. If you don’t have a steamer you can make one by putting a shallow amount of water into your saucepan and keeping the bowl raised above it – a small rack or cake-stand or anything can work – as long as you’re able to close the lid above the steam inside the bowl will do the job.
- The chicken should take around 10-15 minutes depending on size. Halfway into this time I added vegetables so they also benefited from the flavourings. Check your chicken is done by cutting into the thickest part of the breast and ensuring there is no pinkness and the juices are clear.