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BRAISED CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS



8 Chicken fryer drumsticks
4 c Cold water
Cornstarch for dredging
1/2 c Dark soy Sauce
3 c Oil for deep-frying
1/2 c Rock Sugar
1 c Dried chestnuts
1/2 c Medium sherry
1 Five-spice bouquet (OR 1 tbsp Five-spice powder)
1/2 tsp Salt


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 similar pan, slowly heat deep-frying oil until 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; and place on absorbent paper towel to absorb grease.
Red-cooking: Put water in sandy pan 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 chestnuts to Hot red-cooked Sauce.
Simmer in covered pot for 15 minutes; remove cover; simmer for another 15 minutes.
Sauce should have reduced by about 1/3, and become bright & thick. To serve, prop drumsticks up around sides of sandy pot; spear chestnuts with sate sticks or long toothpicks.













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