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Chicken, Ham and Broccoli Stir-fry

The charmingly poetic Chinese name for this pretty and colourful dish –jin hua yi shu ji means "golden flower and jade tree chicken". It is a marvellous, cold-buffet-style stir-fry to serve on any occasion.

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
1 chicken, about 1 - 1.35 kg (2 1/4 - 3 lb)
2 spring onions
2 - 3 pieces fresh root ginger
15 ml (1 tbsp) salt
275 g (8 oz) honey-roast ham
285 g (10 oz) broccoli
45 ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
5 ml (1 tsp) light brown sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) cornflour

method

1. Place the chicken in a large pan and cover it with cold water. Add the spring onions, ginger and about 10 ml (2 tsp) of the salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes under a tightly-fitting lid. Turn off the heat and let the chicken cook itself in the hot water for at least 4 - 5 hours; do not lift the lid as this will let out the residual heat.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan, reserving the liquid, and carefully cut the meat away from the bones, keeping the skin on. Slice both the chicken and ham into pieces, each the size of a matchbox, and arrange the meats in alternating layers on a plate.

3. Cut the broccoli into small florets and stir-fry in the hot oil with the remaining salt and the sugar for about 2 - 3 minutes. Arrange the broccoli between the rows of chicken and ham and around the edge of the plate, making a border for the meat.

4. Heat 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the chicken stock and thicken it with the cornflour. Stir until smooth, then pour it evenly all over the chicken and ham to form a thin coat of transparent jelly. Allow to cool before serving

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