- One 4- to 5-pound chicken
- 2 cups water
- 4 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
- 5 small scallions, green and white portions, sliced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- Chicken should be chopped through bones and skin into 2- or 3-inch chunks.
- Blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Drain and rinse chicken.
- Set steamer over saucepan that will hold it above the water level and that fits tightly enough so that steam does not escape at the sides.
- Distribute chicken pieces evenly inside the steamer or casserole and add water, ginger, scallions, wine, and a pinch of salt.
- Cover steamer and bring water to a boil.
- If using a casserole, wrap it completely, lid and all, with plastic wrap and place on rack inside larger pot that has enough water to come one-third up to the sides of the casserole; cover outside pot.
- Whether using steamer or casserole, reduce heat so that water simmers steadily and creates steam.
- Keep a kettle of hot water ready to refill saucepan as water evaporates.
- Steam for about 3 hours or until chicken is completely tender and well covered with broth.
- Strain soup, discarding ginger and scallions.
- Skim off fat and add salt as needed.
- Just before serving, reheat in a saucepan, preferably of enamel or glass.
- Chicken can be nibbled on as a snack, or it can be served at room temperature with small bowls of vinegar and soy sauce for dipping.