White-Cooked Chicken andThe Plague

Last night I had tickets to a Barry Humphries concert starring his world famous creations, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.  And what made these tickets even more special was that they’d been given to me.  I’d been looking forward to the night for so long but alas, I’ve been struck down with a plague of flu with sinusitis and shivers and aches and pains and is anyone feeling sorry for me yet?

White-Cooked Chicken with Soy and Ginger Dressing

So knowing it would be a late night and that I’d be out in the cold and that those sitting around me would probably prefer not to be given a solid dose of something similar, I stayed at home and sent Carl on a hot date with one of my friends.

And they had a great time.  They both really loved the show.  Barry Humphries is now 78 years old so his Dame Edna and Sir Les Paterson personas are performing for the very last time in a farewell tour titled ‘Eat Pray Laugh’.  If you’re able to source tickets, you’ll have a wonderful and a very entertaining night.  The content is a tad lewd, highly politically incorrect, very irreverent but above all, hilarious.  Carl’s hot date is still laughing 24 hours later.

Here’s a clip worth watching of one of Australia’s most famous international stars:

Meanwhile, I was wondering what I could cook that would make me feel better.  I decided on some white-cooked chicken because it’s loaded with garlic and ginger, two ingredients that are meant to assist in the healing of plagues.

Comforting Chinese

White-Cooked Chicken with Soy and Ginger Dressing

Serves:  4-6 as part of a banquet

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  I found this to be a great meal for a very affordable price.  All ingredients are easy to source as well.

  • 1 x 1.6kg (3lb 4oz) free-range chicken
  • 2 tbspns peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) sprigs
  • pinch ground white pepper (I buy fresh and grind them in my mortar and pestle – the fragrance is so much better)

White Master Stock

  • 6 ltrs (6 quarts) cold water
  • 3 cups shao hsing wine or dry sherry
  • 8 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and cut in half crossways
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger slices
  • 1/3 cup sea salt

Soy and Ginger Dressing

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tbspns White Master Stock
  • 1 tspn seseame oil
  • 1/3 tspn white sugar
  • 1/3 cup spring onion (scallion), julienne
  • 1 tbspn ginger julienne

The trickiest part is cutting up the chicken Chinese style. I gave it a good attempt!

Place all stock ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Rinse chicken under cold water.  Trim away excess fat from inside and outside cavity, but keep neck, parson’s nose and winglets intact.  Lower chicken, breast-side down, into simmering stock, ensuring it is fully submerged.  Poach chicken gently for exactly 14 minutes.  There should be no more than an occasional ripple breaking the surface; adjust the temperature, if necessary to ensure stock does not reach simmering point again.  Remove stockpot immediately from the stove and allow chicken to steep in the stock for 3 hours at room temperature to complete the cooking process.  Using tongs, gently remove chicken from the stock, being careful not to tear the breast skin.

Meanwhile, make the dressing:  combine soy sauce, stock, sesame oil, sugar, spring onion and ginger in a bowl and set aside.  Heat peanut oil in a small frying pan until moderately hot and carefully pour over dressing.

Chop the chicken Chinese-style, arrange on a platter and pour dressing over chicken.  Garnish with coriander and sprinkle with pepper.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice

Serves:  4-6 as part of a banquet

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Minimal

  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 2/3 cup finely sliced spring onions (scallions
  • 2 tbspns light soy sauce
  • 1 tbspn finely diced ginger
  • 2 tbspns vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cups steamed rice
  • 1 tbspn light soy sauce, extra
  • 1 1/3 cups finely shredded Chinese cabbage leaves

Place eggs in a bowl with spring onions, soy sauce and ginger and beat lightly with a fork to combine.

Heat oil in a wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly.  Add onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Pour in egg mixture and leave to cook for 10 seconds before folding egg mixture over onto itself with a spatula and lightly scrambling for about 1 1/2 minutes or until almost cooked through.  Add rice and extra soy sauce and stir-fry for about 1 1/2 minutes, using a spatula to break up the egg into smaller pieces.  Lastly, toss in cabbage and stir-fry for 20 seconds or until well combined and rice is heated through.

Transfer rice to a bowl and serve.

Fried rice that’s great with the chicken

Both recipes are from Kylie Kwong, Simple Chinese Cooking

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  1. A comforting and delicious meal!
    Sorry to hear that you have plagued with a flu…that sucks…esp. when you need to cook for the whole family…
    Stay healthy!

  2. GourmetGetaway says:

    How funny was Dame Edna!! Mr GG and I just laughed so hard… I think I may have subjected the crowd to my germs and cancelled Mr Hot & Spicy’s date for the evening, just so I could go myself!

    Lovely recipe and great story 🙂

  3. Amy @ Elephant Eats says:

    Aw, sorry you couldn’t make it to the show. Hope you’re feeling better!

  4. That was indeed a hilarious clip, Charlie. Thank you for sharing it with us. I had no idea he was Australian, I had assumed he was English! I am sorry you are not feeling well, and I wish you good health as quickly as possible. BTW, thanks for choosing a clip from the Canadian Just for Laughs Festival, it was funny how he wove particularly Québequois things into his skit.
    The chicken looks lovely. I have a whole free range, organic chicken defrosting in the fridge but its been so darn hot that I simply can’t/won’t turn on the stove or oven. I’ll roast it on the BBQ outside for Sunday dinner tomorrow. Feel better soon.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I thought of you when I chose the clip, Eva. I knew Barry Humphries did concerts in Canada. Yes, don’t make that chicken dish during your heatwave. The stove has to be on for quite a while. I’d definitely classify this as a winter dish xx

  5. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    That is so disappointing, to fall ill on the very evening of an event you have been anticipating. But you were wise to stay home. Here’s hoping you feel better soon. And let someone else do the cooking and perhaps prepare chicken noodle soup for you.

  6. Awwww, I hope you are feeling better! The chicken sounds delicious, AND if you have left over you should make soup:-) Hugs, Terra

  7. A_Boleyn says:

    I hope you’re feeling better although I’m amazed you had the energy to make this dish which sounds a bit more complex/time consuming than I can usually manage when I’m under the weather. I’d probably open up a can of chicken noodle soup or call a chinese restaurant for a delivery. 🙂

    Dame Edna is a VERY funny lady/gentleman from what I can recall watching on television. 🙂


  8. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    This lovely meal certainly would have cheered me up and given comfort. Hope you are feeling better. I admire the fact that you had the energy to make this. I fear I would have cuddled up in a blanket and searched for a can of emergency soup.

  9. Reem | Simply Reem says:

    I hope you are feeling better.. I am so sorry u missed the evening..
    But I am sure this dish must have warmed u up..
    Feel better soon…

  10. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    I hope you chicken and rice helped make you feel better but sorry that you missed the performance. Hope the plague is over soon.

  11. I am so sorry you couldn’t go my friend! It sounds like an amazing evening!
    Hope this amazing food warmed you up and kept you going 🙂
    Get better real soon 🙂


  12. I am totally feeling sorry for you now! I think laughter is the best medicine.. You should just watch videos like this one to cheer up:). Get well my friend!

  13. InTolerantChef says:

    Oh you poor darling! Careful it doesn’t turn into The Glange, and make sure Arabella keeps her distance as her immune system is down.
    I hope you feel better soon, that chicken is delicious and I have a horror story about it that I’ll blog about soon!

  14. You poor thing. I’m not talking about missing Barry’s show, I mean you’ve got the plague and you had to cook your own dinner?? What’s up with that??

    It does look devine, btw.

    You should have been attended and served as the queen you are. Barry has nothing on you, Ma’am. (said in my best American accent)

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Maureen. Yes, I cooked my own dinner. It was a good distraction from blowing my nose. xx

  15. Oh you poor love, I’m sorry you missed out! Hope you’re feeling better soon.. xx

  16. This chicken sounds very appealing especially as I have been struck down with the flu myself this week. It might be just the remedy. Thanks

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’m feeling a lot better today after having chicken cooked in a stock loaded with ginger and garlic so do give this a try and I hope it speeds along your recovery xx

  17. yummychunklet says:

    Damn Edna was hilarious. Thanks for sharing that clip!

  18. Oh, I am so sorry to hear you’re unwell and that you missed the show 🙁 What a very, very unfortunate stroke of bad luck. I’m glad Carl enjoyed it but I suspect that may have added salt to the wound somewhat (so to speak).

    I can say that the flavours in this dish would make me feel better in a hurry – it looks wonderful and there is something fantastic about ginger, soy and garlic.

  19. ChgoJohn says:

    It’s one thing to be sick, Charlie, but it’s another thing entirely to be sick and miss Dame Edna. That’s just plain cruel! Sorry you couldn’t make the show and I hope that you’re already starting to feel better.

  20. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    So sorry to hear that you are feeling so lousy Charlie – I hope that the family takes good care of you for a bit and bring you tea in bed and cook all the meals for the next few days.
    What a pity to miss such a great show!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  21. Juliet Batten says:

    I’m so sorry you had to miss the show, but thanks so much for the clip. I’ve just had a really good laugh.
    Get well soon.

  22. niasunset says:

    I hope and wish you to feel better today, dear Charlie… The recipe is amazing but but the photograph fascinated me especially with these plates… You are amazing. Thanks and Love, nia

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Nia, it’s so lovely of you to compliment the photography when you are such a great photographer yourself. xx

  23. great chicken recipe and oh my you poor thing love Dame Edna so funny

  24. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    I hadn’t thought of Dame Edna in so long. The chameleon line broke me up!

  25. I really do hope you’re feeling better now Charlie 🙂 everyone’s getting sick and I’m totally blaming the horrible weather because I know it’s quite cold in Sydney too >_< lol i think it's kinda funny you seem to cook my Chinese dishes than we do at home and you do a great job ~

  26. I’m glad at least someone got to enjoy the show, get better soon!!!


  27. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Oh poor you Charlie!
    I do sympathise. Last year we had tickets to a comedy show that I’d been looking forward to for weeks and weeks. I got a bug a few days before and Will had to take his sister. I sat at home feeling sorry for myself. I should have cooked!

  28. I hope that all of the garlic and ginger worked and you are feeling much better by now. But really … Who was the hot date? We’re dying to know!


  29. I’m so sorry to hear you are not weel Charlie – especially in the school holidays. It would have been fabulous to see Dame Edna so I hope Carl’s hot date pays you back big time lol. Take care lovely and I hope you are on the mend soon. xx

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Well, I’ve spread my germs to Carl! I think it’s the grey skies, cold temps and all the rain. Thankfully the last two days have been sunny so we’ve been able to get outside and feel the sunshine and that has made me feel so much better xx

  30. Wonderful recipes, Charlie! I love the fried rice recipe in particular! I hope youre feeling better, too. I just love Dame Edna. I’m so sorry you missed the evening out, but you probably did your poor body a favor! I’m impressed you were able to post! Hugs!

  31. sorry you feel crook! chicken is the best thing for “bucking us up” when we need a bit of a comfort cuddle. Love Dame Edna! Freaky that ‘she’ should mention Poutine as I was only doing some research on it this morning!!! its a bit like the iconic aussie pie floater 🙂

  32. This looks delicious, Charlie – and the best part is that you don’t even need to be sick to enjoy it!

  33. mademoiselle délicieuse says:

    Hope you’re on the mend, the plague has definitely been going around my work as well!

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