Poached Chicken Breast with black vinegar

japanese cake

Poached Chicken Breast with black vinegar sauce 鶏胸肉の黒酢煮

This recipe was given to me by my niece, when we visited Japan last time. It is so easy to make and it is so good. I use boneless breast meat with the skin on. In the U.S., you may have to get bone-in split breast. In that case, remove the bones, excess skin and fat. I also remove the tenders and use them for another dish. For two breasts, I add 3 tbs each of black vinegar (Chinese or Japanese variety, more about this later), sake, soy sauce and sugar (I use less sugar but it is up to your preference) in an 10 inch frying pan on a medium flame. The liquid covers the bottom of pan in a rather thin layer (about 1/4 inch).  Dissolve the sugar and add the chicken breasts skin side down, tightly cover with a lid and poach/steam for 15 minutes. Remove the breast, set aside on a plate, covered with an aluminum foil and let it rest at least 5 minutes while the sauce reduces (This step is important. If you skip this step, the center of the thickest part of the breast may not be completely done). Meanwhile, increase the heat and reduce the marinade to one third of the original volume or until large bubbles cover the surface (another 5 minutes). Slice the breast on the bias.

This time, I served the sliced chicken on a bed of sliced cucumber (mini cucumber or Japanese), thinly sliced onion (soak in water for 10 minutes and ring out moisture if too strong). Arrange the chicken slices and top with small tomato slices (the vegetables are all optional). Drizzle the sauce.

Compared to other types of vinegar, “kuro-su” 黒酢 or black vinegar is much milder and has a more nutty taste which is a key to this dish. I also made this dish by substituting the black vinegar with balsamic vinegar with a very good result.

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