Recipe: chinese tea-smoked chicken
Sometimes I think I need to get out more.
Is there a recipe that you grew up with and loved, believing that it was some special family recipe, only to learn later that everyone knows how to make this dish and what? did you grow up under a rock? That seems to have happened to me on several occasions. The first one that I recall was when I was maybe 3 years old. My paternal grandparents were visiting from Taiwan. I didn’t endear myself to my Nai Nai (Chinese for paternal grandmother) at first because I kept hearing my parents talk about Yieh Yieh Nai Nai coming to visit. Yieh Yieh is what Kris and I were to address Grandpa as. But no one actually spelled this out for me. So the first I thing I said when they arrived was, “That’s Yieh Yieh Nai Nai,” looking at my Grandpa, “but who is she?” pointing to Grandma.
I fixed that blunder pretty quickly though. Nai Nai made some toast one morning and gave me a slice. I thought it was the best thing I had ever tasted and kept raving about it. Toasted Wonder Bread. I thought she was the only one who knew how to make this amazing snack. Toasted Wonder Bread. I’ll bet she got a kick out of that since she wasn’t really into cooking.
But my maternal grandma, Po Po knows how to cook. She made this smoked chicken on occasion throughout my childhood and knew it was a favorite of mine. Po Po lived with us for the first 9 years or so of my childhood (they tell me she arrived when I was 2, but as far as I’m concerned, she was there from the start) and she’s so much more than a grandma to me. When she moved to Michigan to live with one of my aunts, she used to make a batch of smoked chicken whenever Kris and I visited. She would laugh while Kris and I fought over how many pieces each of us was to get. My mom learned how to make it and then Kris and I would fight over the chicken when we went home to visit. It’s that good!
use sichuan peppercorns