Tuesday, May 22, 2007

gingerly chicken

gingerly. the oxford english dictionary defines the word gingerly to mean “in a careful or cautious manner”. i wondered, as i made up a dish of ginger chicken, what does carefulness or caution have to do with ginger – the ugly, knobly rhizome used as a spice, flavouring and candy. ginger isn’t a root, it’s a rhizhome, which for the botanically challenged, is the horizontal stem of a plant from which the roots and shoots emerge.

it was one of those dishes that i had made up in my head in between drafting rather dull documents, and was most pleasantly surprised with its result. the ginger paste marinade acted as a tenderiser and the slow, low temperature cooking meant that the chicken took its time in absorbing the flavours as it cooked gently. the chicken was juicy, tender and fell off the bones in a very satisfying manner. eaten with its juices mixed into freshly steamed white rice, it was, if i may say so, the business.

ginger chicken

4 inch sized knob of ginger
the white bits of 4 scallions
glug of sunflower oil pinch of salt

4 chicken legs
salt, pepper, sesame oil

make a paste out of the ginger, white bits of scallion and glug of oil by processing in a blender till fine and resembling pesto. marinate the chicken legs overnight in the paste, seasoning appropriately with salt, pepper and sesame oil. place legs in a dutch oven with a heavy lid and into a pre-heated oven at 150C for 90-120 minutes until juices run clear and meat falls off the bone. eat with the juices from the pan drizzled into a bowl of freshly steamed white rice.

a little more google based research led me to find out that the root of the word gingerly has nothing at all to do with (the non-root) ginger. it comes from the latin gentius which means well-born. the current meaning of the word as we now know it only came about in the 1600s. example of use in sentence: i ate my chicken gingerly so as not to waste any of its scrumptious yumminess.


Anonymous Dalila said...

Keep up the good work.

1:35 AM  

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