The River Cottage website has a wonderful sounding recipe for slow-cooked shin of beef with ginger and soy https://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/shin-of-beef-with-ginger-and-soy. I’ve never made it because I’m not keen on beef, but the ingredients sounded intriguing so I made my own version with organic chicken legs from my lovely local butcher. It’s very simple. The chicken cooks slowly for an hour in the oven in a foil-covered roasting tray, then you give it a half hour blast to crisp up the skin. The ingredients combine to make a salty, sour-sweet vaguely oriental-tasting sauce with a gentle umami flavour. Serve it with plain rice and some steamed greens on the side.
Note: be careful with the extra salt. There is some in the soy sauce but without a little extra salty boost I found the dish was a little bland.
Serves 2 generously
2 plump chicken legs
1 large mild red chili
1 x 5cm knob of fresh ginger, grated
3 garlic cloves peeled and grated
3 spring onions finely chopped
1 dessertspoon red currant jelly
I tablespoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon any wine vinegar
200 ml white wine
Pre heat the oven to 150 c
Put the chicken legs in the roasting dish – you don’t need to fry them off first. Slit the chili in half vertically to scrape out the seeds then slit each half vertically again. Place the pieces around the chicken. Warm the oil and let the grated ginger and grated garlic fry for about a minute then add all the other ingredients. Bring them to the boil, reduce the heat and let everything simmer for about two minutes, then pour it over the chicken. Encase the dish in a tightly wound jacket of foil. Put it in the pre heated oven and leave it undisturbed for an hour.
The chicken will be almost cooked and will look pale.
Take off the foil and set it aside to cover the chicken later. Raise the oven temperature to 190 c, put the dish back in the oven and leave it for 30 minutes or until the skin is well browned and the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a sharp knife.
Pour the juices off carefully, leaving the chicken in its dish to rest with the foil over it. Boil the juices down to a more syrupy consistency: this will take about 4 minutes. Pour the sauce back over the chicken and bring the dish to the table.