8 Chicken fryer drumsticks
Cornstarch for dredging
3 c Oil for deep-frying
1 c Dried chestnuts
1 Five-spice bouquet (OR
1 tb Five-spice powder)
4 c Cold water
1/2 c Dark soy sauce
1/2 c Rock sugar
1/2 c Medium sherry
1/2 ts Salt
This dish is a good example of the whole being greater than the parts.
Preparation:At least 12 hours before cooking this dish, rinse several
times then soak dried chestnuts. After soaking, remove pieces of
skin wedged in nutmeat.
Deep-frying: In wok or suitable pan, slowly heat deep-frying oil; oil
is ready when bubbles quickly form around chopstick held vertically
in oil. Meanwhile, dredge drumsticks in cornstarch; shake off excess
starch. Deep fry drumsticks 2 at a time until brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oil; drain.
Red-cooking: Pour water in sandy pot or comparable casserole dish;
add 5-spice bouquet, soy sauce, sherry & salt (5-spice powder can be
substituted, though the final flavor will be less distinctive). Slowly
bring to boil, reduce heat, cover pot & simmer 15 minutes. Remove
cover; discard bouquet; add salt & rock sugar; dissolve rock sugar.
You can stop here until near serving time.
About 30 minutes before serving time, add drumsticks & soaked chest-
nuts to hot red-cooked sauce. Simmer in covered pot for 15 minutes;
remove cover; simmer for another 15 minutes. Sauce should have re-
duced by about 1/3, and become bright & thick.
To serve, prop drumsticks up around sides of sandy pot; spear chest-
nuts with sate sticks or long toothpicks.