This Asian Stuffed Chicken Quarters is a tribute to my grandmother. We were so lucky to have my grandmother in our household growing up because we got to eat good when we were kids. Too bad I was spoiled and didn't learn how to cook from her. My grandmother's fear that we might burn ourselves kept me away from the kitchen when I was growing up.
Anyways, I remember quite fondly of this particular chicken dish my grandmother made where she deboned the whole chicken and stuffed it. It was so delicious, the skin was crispy and the stuffing was melt-in-my-mouth good. Just heavenly, except that my grandmother only made this dish one time. But that one time was enough to make me still drool a little while I think about it some 20 years later.
This is my first attempt to recreate this Asian Stuffed Chicken Quarters and I can say I did my grandmother proud because my husband loved it. It is almost as good as how grandmother made it or as how I remembered how it tasted. If you have never debone chicken, I've got a video to demonstrate that as well as a bonus of an old school style of how to ground meat.
If you like this dish, please note that I am working on noodle dishes and this is the second one in this collection. Spring Rolls is my first noodles dish. Follow me as more noodle dishes will unfold into some pretty tasty instructables.
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
3-4 chicken quarters or chicken breast
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoon cilantro, minced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/3 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 package sweet potato noodles or vermicelli style rice noodles
light cooking oil spray
optional: 3-4 toothpicks
For those who don't know chicken quarters are chicken pieces that have the thigh and the leg still connected together. I opted for this instead of a whole chicken since I wanted to make this as easy as possible to cook. Having done so, I would suggest that you can cut your prep time by using chicken breast instead of chicken quarters.
Yes, who knew that noodles also can be made from sweet potatoes. I certainly didn't until I discovered these from a local Asian grocery store. I would say it's a great alternative to the traditional rice noodles or even spaghetti noodles. The flavor tastes hearty and honestly I couldn't tell that it was made of potatoes.
Step 2: Prepping the Chicken and Noodles
1. Debone the chicken by carefully removing the skin and meat from the chicken bone. I have included a video that will make it easier for you if you have never done it before. Don't worry, this was my first time too.
If you can't watch the video, you will need to cut off the tail and fat to discard, take the skin off, take the meat off the bone. The video can also be found on my youtube channel by clicking here.
2. Then you will have the fun of slicing the meat into smaller pieces and then chop away. I went old school! I used a Chinese/ Thai Chef knife found online on Amazon but you can use a butcher knife or any other large knife too. Just make sure to sharpen your knife for easier and faster prepping.
Of course if you have a food processor, by all means use that to grind the meat down into ground chicken. It will save you time and a tired hand. Even better if you can use ground turkey or if your local butcher shop sells ground chicken, buy it! I'm all about saving time.
3. Boil hot water and cook the potato noodles in it until it is ready. Remember like spaghetti you need to stir it frequently to make sure it doesn't stick. The potato noodles took longer to cook than traditional rice noodles.
4. When done, drain the noodles into a colander and wash noodles in cold water to stop it from overcooking.
5. Using kitchen shears, cut the noodles into smaller pieces about 2-4 inches. To speed this up, I just pointed the shears straight down onto the noodles in the colander and cut, move, and cut.
Step 3: Cooking the Stuffing
1. In a large sauté pan on medium high heat sauté garlic, onions, celery, and carrots until almost tender.
2. Add the ground chicken and cilantro to the pan.
3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. When chicken is almost cooked, add the noodles to the pan and mix well.
5. Turn off stove when chicken is done.
Step 4: Baking
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray a baking pan so that it will not stick.
3. Place chicken skin on pan and add the cooked stuffing.
4. Fold the skin so that the stuffing is held completely inside.
5. Continue with stuffing the other skins pieces.
6. Use toothpicks to pierce and support the skin from unrolling if necessary.
7. Drizzle a healthy dose of soy sauce over each of the stuffed chicken pieces. Add salt and pepper if desire.
8. Place pan into oven and cook until skin is nice and crisp. (App. 40-50 minutes.) About 20 minutes in I did double-check the stuffed chicken quarters by adding more soy sauce and also wiggling the pieces to ensure that it was not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: Enjoy!
As I said, these Asian Stuffed Chicken Quarters came out delicious. They even tasted great the next day which was actually when I had mine.
Mine differ from the taste of my grandmother's original because I used sweet potato noodles which is chewier than the white noodles I remember her using. My grandmother also finely chopped/ minced everything. My vegetables, chicken, and noodles were much larger. I think minimal seasoning was used by my grandmother. She didn't cook much with soy sauce since that's not a traditional seasoning to Hmong dishes. I cook with soy sauce because I cater to the taste of my husband and because I thought it would give the right amount of moisture to support the skin as it crisped. One thing is for sure, I am 100% positive you can vary the stuffing and it will still come out tasty.
Thank you to all the grandmothers that help to inspire the new generation of good eats.