1 whole chicken that will fit in your wok (or you can use two small fryers and sear them one at a time. A larger roaster works well, too.)
3 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
About an inch of fresh ginger root, chopped
5 to 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
¾ cup soy sauce
¼ cup of water
1 tablespoon sugar
One bunch of scallions, diagonally cut
¼ cup rice vinegar
Preheat the wok to medium high to high heat. Add the oil to the wok, then sear the chicken on all sides till light golden brown. If you are doing this right, it will be very noisy and will make an oily mess on your stove and some will splatter on the floor. Dogs love this, but it can unnerve small children. Make sure you prepare everyone for the commotion!
Don’t use canola, corn, or just any vegetable oil, it will burn before you get a high enough temperature to sear the chicken. Olive oil will overwhelm the flavor.
In a separate bowl, while chicken is searing, add the ginger, garlic, sugar and scallions to the soy sauce and water. Stir. Turn off the heat when the chicken is done, and pour off oil if you want. Then, splash the rice vinegar over the chicken and turn it breast side down. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken, put the lid on the wok and simmer for around an hour or so, depending on how much chicken you use. Once the legs move freely, turn the chicken right side up and take the lid off, and simmer another 10 minutes or so.
While the chicken is cooking, stir fry some vegetables with a touch of sesame oil added. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice and the vegetables on the side.
Adapted from a 1981 Southern Living recipe.