Today I parboiled a whole chicken. If you don’t know how to do this, it’s massively easy. Just remove the gizzards from your thawed chicken, sit it breast side down into a big pot with about an inch of water in it, and crank the heat up to high. Once the water starts boiling, put a lid on the pot and turn it down to just above simmer. The water will continue to lightly boil and steam your chicken within an hour. By then, the meat will be moist and tender enough to practically fall off the bone. Forget the oven – parboiling is where it’s at.
This meal was surprisingly simple thanks to my pre-cooked chicken parts. I just removed the skin from the leg/thigh and smeared it with some olive oil. Then I sprinkled a bunch of Chinese Five Spices onto it. You could eat it just like this, but I chose to give it a minute or so on each side on the grill to get that sealed brown outside look and texture.
The hard boiled egg is just there. I squirted some balsamic vinegar on the asparagus before grilling.
The cucumber salad is best made a day, or at least a few hours, ahead of time. You can use any thinly sliced cucumber, but an English or Armenian one will work best because they have thinner skins and less seeds. Add thinly sliced yellow or sweet onion. Slice your cucumber first so you can watch the ratio of cucumber to onion as you’re adding the onion. I did about a 2:1 ratio, but you may have a different preference when it comes to onions (the dressing will greatly tame them though, I promise). Then finely dice and add about a thumb’s worth of ginger root (yes, look at your thumb. That size). Pour about 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar over everything and toss it all together. Put it in the refrigerator. Take it out an hour later and toss again. Put it back in the refrigerator. Repeat several times. Add a little salt and pepper just before you serve it cold. My one cucumber and 3/4 of a medium onion made enough of this Asian inspired salad for four servings of the size you see on my dinner plate.