OK so I'm a little late for Chinese New Year but I wanted to get my Valentines post out last weekend so anyone that wanted to had time to make the cookies for their sweety - maybe you can make this for them for dinner and then give the cookies as dessert?
Anyway, this is a very simple recipe - don't let the whole smoking thing scare you. You need to have a window open and an extractor on if possible, and if you are making this for your hot date I would suggest smoking it earlier in the day and re-heating it wrapped in foil in the oven just before serving - then you can get changed and perfume yourself up again so you don't smell like a smokehouse.
Remember to double layer your foil and try to seal it as well as poissible so the least amount of smoke possible escapes. You could use any kind of black tea you like, I am a big Earl Grey fan so used that but I have had salmon smoked with lapsang souchong too which was very lovely. I'd like to try langoustines cooked in this method soon too.
As you can see I've served the chicken with a little salad but it's very nice over rice too with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and finely chopped nori seaweed sheet. I get these little sachets of rice seasoning from my local chinese which had sesame seeds, shreds of nori and some chicken/seafood/vegetable flavoured salt that you just mix in.
Earl Grey Tea Smoked Chicken Breast
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin / rice wine
1 tsp five spice
2 tbsp earl grey tea leaves
3 tbsp rice (any kind)
1 tbsp sugar
You will also need a good amount of tin foil, a wok and a steamer basket that will fit inside it.
Place your chicken breasts into a dish or plastic bag and pour in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and five spice. Make sure all the chicken is covered and then put in the fridge to marinate for at least one hour.
When ready to cook remove the chicken from the fridge and set to one side. Now line the bottom of your wok with a double layer of tin foil big enough to overlap the rim by a good 2 inches. Sprinkle in the tea leaves, rice and sugar and then put in the steamer basket. Now turn the hob on to high heat.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with some kitchen roll and then cut each one lengthways into two pieces. When the tea and rice starts to smoke, arrange the chicken evenly on the steamer and then cover the wok with another double layer of tin foil, rolling it in with the overlap from the bottom layer to seal in the smoke.
Cook for 12 minutes and them remove from the heat, open up and cut into one of the chicken pieces to see if it is cooked. If not, just seal the pan up again and smoke for a little longer until it is.
Slice the cooked chicken into thin pieces and serve any way you wish.