Take into consideration that cold is relative here. After several years of humid, sub tropic summers, 20 C (68 F) is cold. (Today's weather is here.)
That first night of cold weather, I decided to cook something for dinner that would produce heat. Traditional Chinese cooking is basically medicinal. The cook takes factors like the weather, season, constitution of the those eating all into consideration. Like a scientist a Chinese cook knows which foods produce heat or cool the body. I gave Z a choice Ginseng chicken or Four spirits soup 四物湯.
She picked the Ginseng Chicken soup. In Taiwan chicken sold with its bones is more expensive than boneless breasts because the bones improve the flavor. (Chomping on cartilage brings memories of a kid for some reason). I stewed the chicken with some broth and of course the Ginseng. The Ginseng is sold in muslin with other Chinese medicinal foods--goji berries, Jujube dates, angelica.To bring out the heating properties I add ginger, of course garlic, rice wine and dark sesame (extremely heating). Instead of steamed brown rice I opted for steamed millet. I also threw in some Job's Tears 薏仁 (Coix Seeds) into the stew.
|Ginseng Chicken served over a bed of steamed millet|