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The First Year

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Five-Star Three-Cup Chicken

Good morning. It’s Mother’s Day weekend for all those who celebrate, which is many of us, even if she’s been gone a few years now and didn’t like the holiday anyway. Mom’s getting younger, in memory, and we’re getting older to meet her at the pass. The relationship’s deepening. It’s easier to understand some of her tics and motivations now, her points of view.

For instance: What a bother this holiday is, with its forced cheer, overpriced restaurant mimosas and saccharine greeting cards. Better to stay home, look at old pictures and cook delicious things. We’ll get to tea sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches for Sunday brunch. In the meantime, though, how about a platter of three-cup chicken (above) for dinner tonight?

This is Taiwanese home cooking of distinction, simple and flavorful, easy to riff on and excellent alongside a pile of fluffy rice. (The name comes from the three liquids used to flavor the dish: sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine.) Take a look at the comments readers added to the recipe. My favorite: “I made a mistake by reading everyone’s notes first to see the variations and suggestions. I finally followed the original recipe and all I can tell you is that I can’t wait to cook it again. One of the best!”


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