3-4 lbs chicken, bone-in and skin-on
3 TBS neutral vegetable oil (NOT EVOO)
1" piece fresh root ginger
one large white or yellow onion
6 TBS dark soy sauce
6 TBS water
6 TBS shao hsing rice wine (or cheap dry sherry)
1. If the chicken is whole, first cut it into serving pieces (wings, breast halves, thigs, legs). Then cut these into smaller pieces: For wings, cut into three pieces at the joints, then discard the wing tips. For thighs, cut into three pieces, parallel to the bone (two pieces will be boneless; the center will have the bone). For breasts and legs, chop into roughly 1"-2" x 3" pieces, through the bone.
2. Slice the ginger thinly crosswise, and then cut into thin matchstick-sized shreds. Peel the onion, then slice it in half lengthwise, and then crosswise into thin slices.
3. Heat the oil in a saute pan large enough to hold everything. Saute the chicken for 3-4 minutes, until it is starting to brown.
4. Add the ginger and onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the onions are sweating and just starting to soften.
5. Add the soy sauce and water, and mix everything together thoroughly. Bring to a brisk simmer.
6. Reduce the heat so that the mixture is at a low simmer, then cover. Cook for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes and checking to make sure that the heat is at a simmer--not too hot or too cold.
7. Add the wine, stir, and simmer for another 1/2 hour.
Serve with lots of rice.
You can also cook this in a 350-degree F oven, in a covered pan or casserole. Again, give it a stir every 20 minutes during the first hour, then add the wine.
Shao hsing wine with 5% salt added is available from Chinese markets. Substitute dry sherry (California or New York State "sherry" is acceptable here).
If you like the taste of star anise, you can throw in one of the 8-pointed stars when you add the soy sauce.