How to make Cantonese Chicken Cookies?
we wanted to teach you how to makea classic Cantonese cookie, chicken cookies.
Now, I guess we do need to get something out of the way here real quick at first. See,despite the name, no, there’s not any chicken in these cookies.sorry to disappoint.
But because this is Cantonese food after all,a fundamental ingredient in your chicken cookies that you just won’t be able to be without will be pork.
How To Make Cantonese Chicken Cookies?
Let me explain.
See, the original inventor of this dish was a servant in the house of Wu, which was an old merchant family in Guangzhou. Her name
was Siu Fung, or “little Phoenix” – so originally the cookies were called Siu Fung Bang, or “Little Pheonix’s Cookies”.
Years later, the cookies were popularized by an old restaurant in Guangzhou called Seng Ju Lao, who would make these “little Pheonix cookies” after the mid-Autumn festival as a way to use up leftover Mooncake ingredients, such as candied pork fat.
Now, in Chinese cuisine, sometimes chicken meat is referred to as ‘pheonix’, classic example being those “Pheonix Claws” that you see at Dim Sum.
So over the years, for whatever reason, the name of this dish ended up going in the opposite direction – that is, little Pheonix’s cookies turned into little chicken cookies.
But right, naming aside, let’s get started then with that candied pork fat.
To make it, first, grab about 80 grams of pork fat and get that into a dice.
Then mix that with a quarter teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of liquor – preferably a Chinese style of liquor called Fenjiu, but Baijiu or Bourbon would both also work fine.
Now grab a separate bowl and layer your pork fat together with 150 grams of sugar.
So a layer of sugar, a layer of fat, a layer of sugar, a layer of fat, and finally a layer of sugar.
Now cover, and toss in the fridge for at least four days, but that stuff stay good for like months.
The second ingredient that you’ll wanna sort ahead of time – Chinese invert syrup, which’s actually the same stuff that’s used in mooncake wrappers.
To make it first toss 180mL of water into a non-reactive pot together with 200 grams of granulated sugar.
Now, don’t stir that, don’t touch it, just turn the heat to low and let it cook by itself.
Then once the sugar’s dissolved, go in with 25 mL of lemon juice, then continue to not even think about touching for about twenty five minutes.
After that time, you should start to see some big bubbles coming from your syrup – you’ll know that this’s done once you can drop a bit of it on a piece of paper and it stays in an obviously round hemisphere shape.
Then just cool that down and jar it up.
Now, chicken cookies have two major components – the wrapper, and the filling.
The wrapper here could be sort of be conceptualized as a thin sugar cookie – but instead of sugar, we’re using that inverted syrup.
So now to a bowl just start by pouring in 50 grams of your syrup pouring still pouring there we go!
Together with fifteen grams of peanut oil and a quarter teaspoon of Kan Sui alkaline water and give it all a quick mix.
Now sift in 75 grams of AP flour, then give it all good mix for about a minute or until
crumbly like so. Now transfer over to a Silpat and knead it until smooth this’s take a bit, so be patient, this batch took us about
seven minutes to reach this consistency.
Then just wrap it up, and toss it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Next up, the filling. Now, there’s gonna be a lot of components here, but it’s not quite as bad as it looks.
So to a bowl just add in 15 grams of peanut oil, a quarter teaspoon salt, a half teaspoon five spice powder, half tablespoon nanru, red fermented tofu, a tablespoon of water, and give that all a good mix.
Then add in 15 grams of toasted sesame seeds, 15 grams toasted, and roughly chopped sunflower seeds, and 15 grams toasted and chopped Indian almonds and you can swap those for pinenuts if you need.
And as an aside, all those nuts were roasted at 175 centigrade for ten minutes.
Then go in with 15 grams of minced meica stems – Cantonese preserved mustard green– and you should be able to find that at most Chinese supermarkets one large clove’s worth of minced garlic, 85 grams of granulated sugar, and give all that a good mix again. Now just toss in 25 grams of sticky rice flour,give it another quick mix, then your candied pork fat.
Make sure that’s all evenly incorporated, and your filling is good to go.
So now, to wrap.
First, grab your dough and roll it into a long log – you’re looking to get something that’s about an inch in diameter.
Now slice that in half, in half again, in half again, and finally in half again to get 32 even pieces, or about five-ish grams worth eacg.
Now roll them into balls, and then using a rolling pin, roll into an ovular shape.
You’re not trying to make a dumpling wrapper here or anything just roll it out, twist 90 degrees, and roll it a bit in the other direction.
Work through your wrappers, and then these are good to fill.
Now, in Cantonese bakeries they’ll use one of these special molds to make chicken cookies,which we don’t own and neither do you.
So instead, we’ll use a Chinese soup spoon, which you can definitely find at your local Chinese supermarket.
Just lay your wrapper over the spoon, and toss a teaspoon of your filling in the center.
Then wrap by simply folding the sides over gently press it closed, flip, give it a gentle pat, and with that, you’ve got yourself a Chicken cookie.
Work through your cookies, putting them all on a parchment paper-lined baking tray, then just toss those in a 200-degree oven – for five minutes at first.
Now, after that time, take them out but leave the oven door open for this next step – we’re just cooling it down because from this point on, we’ll be baking these guys at 165.
So then brush the cookies with an egg wash, then toss back in the oven, close your door, and bake for ten minutes more.
Then after that ten minutes, give it another egg wash, and rotate your tray 180 degrees so that those cookies’ll cook evenly.
Then just toss that in, and after five more minutes start to watch your cookies like a hawk.
You’ll want the tops of your cookies to be nice and golden brown, but not like brown.
So then just take them out, let them cool down – or, not I guess – depending on your cookie desperation level and devour.
So there’s another way of wrapping this, which’s rolling the entire dough into a long rectangular sheet, and then put the fillings
on it, roll it up into log and then cut the log into smaller pieces.
It’s a lot quicker, that’s why a lot of bakeries will use that method but it spreads and leaks a lot easier.
The reason, why we went with this method, is because it’s prettier and resembles the traditional oval shape more.
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