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. scallion .
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My dad's perfectly boiled White Cut Chicken (η™½εˆ‡ιΈ‘) & Ginger Scallion Sauce (ε§œθ‘±ι…±)! AKA Poached Whole Chicken or Bak Chit Gai, it's a simple, traditional, and almost-required dish for Lunar New Year, tied with many auspicious sayings and superstitions.

There's a saying in Chinese that goes something like, "No chicken, no banquet." This dish is steeped in tradition and good luck, and I'm extremely grateful to get to document how my dad does it and to share it with our community :)

This post will cover:

  • How to boil the perfect, juicy White Cut Chicken
  • How to make my dad’s addictive Ginger Scallion sauce
  • The traditional Chinese way to carve and plate a chicken from head to toe
  • The various Chinese idioms / meanings tied to whole chicken

Here are a few pictures of what the recipes look like if you want a visual :)

Superstition: Chicken

In Chinese tradition, chicken is intertwined with many sayings and superstitions of good fortune, wealth, and resilience.

Even though my parents didn't have much meat growing up in China, this is one of the dishes my parents always ate on Lunar New Year's eve and other festivities.

Especially with auspicious foods, Chinese superstition involves a lot of creative word-play. The word for chicken, gāi in Cantonese and jī in Mandarin, sounds like several words of good fortune.

Just to name a few phrases that my parents shared with us:

  • hΓ³u sai gaai ε₯½δΈ–η•Œ - A Cantonese phrase that roughly translates to good world, good life.
  • dΓ jΓ­dΓ lΓ¬ ε€§ε‰ε€§εˆ© - A Mandarin phrase that roughly translates to great luck, great profit.
  • yΓ‘uh tΓ uh yΓ‘uh mΓ©ih ζœ‰ε€΄ζœ‰ε°Ύ - A Cantonese phrase that literally translates to: "has a head, has a tail." It means "good beginning, good ending." This is one of the reasons why it's important to make a whole chicken for Lunar New Year.
  • jΓ‘au pΓ h jΓ‘au wΓ h ζŠ“ζ‰’ζŠ“ι΅ - A Toisanese phrase, related to eating the chicken legs, that roughly means "face all challenges with persistence."

So, basically, eat a whole chicken if you want to live. (jk)

Using a Proper Knife

The most intricate part of this recipe is the last step, where we carve up the chicken into pieces we can easily grab with a chopstick.

My dad has two knives - a "chef's knife", meant for vegetables and boneless meats, and a heavy duty cleaver, meant for occasions like this.

It's a lot harder to do this without a proper cleaver, so here are a few options you can look up:

  • Dexter Russell Heavy Duty Cleaver
  • [The same brand (not same model) as my dad's 40 year-old cleaver](https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?ut_sk=1.XR79XxYXt6sDAC8yCxOJl3U5_21380790_1609898344895.Copy.1&id=630231282048&detailSharePosition=interactBar&sourceType=item&suid=6C603
... keep reading on reddit ➑

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Creamy Tater Tot Casserole.This Tater Tot Casserole is creamy, cheesy with tender potatoes and scallions. This side dish goes great with any meal. It's easy to make and only takes minutes to put together with just a few ingredients! Recipe in the comments below.
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Easy Creamy Tater Tot Casserole. This Tater Tot Casserole is creamy, cheesy with tender potatoes and scallions. This side dish goes great with any meal. It's easy to make and only takes minutes to put together with just a few ingredients!

Click on the link just to see how easy this is to make. Easy Creamy Tater Tot Casserole.

Ingredients:

β€’ Tater Tots - 1 pound bag - defrosted

β€’ Cream of Mushroom SoupΒ  - 1Β Β  10.5 ounce can

β€’ Milk - 10.5 ounces

β€’ Sour Cream - 3/4 of a cup

β€’ Cream CheeseΒ  - 1/3 of a cup

β€’ Scallions - 3 -4 stalks

β€’ Cheddar CheeseΒ  - 1Β Β  8 ounce bag

β€’ Garlic Powder - 1 Tablespoon

β€’ Salt - 1 teaspoon

β€’ Pepper - 1/2 of a teaspoon

Directions:

β€’ Step 1 - Start by making the cream sauce. In a large bowl, empty a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. Fill that same can to the top with milk and add it to the bowl. Add the Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Salt Pepper and Garlic Powder.Β  Whisk to combine.

β€’ Step 2 - Finely chop your scallions and add them to the bowl. Mix well.

β€’ Step 3 - In a 9x13 baking dish, add your Tater Tots and pour the cream sauce over the top. Mix the Tater Tots with the sauce until well coated. Flatten the top.

β€’ Step 4 - Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven and bake at 400Β° for 30 minutes. Enjoy

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