This is my adaptation (ahem, improvement) on a recipe I read a while ago from the now-deceased Gourmet magazine. The great smoky flavor of the tea really comes through and adds a super-delicious layer of flavor to the chicken. Bon Appetea!
1 chicken, quartered
¼ cup junmai sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 green onions, smashed
4 pieces fresh ginger, smashed
2 star anise, smashed lightly
2 tbsp lapsang souchong
¼ cup dark brown sugar
rind of one orange, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cinnamon stick, fresh ground
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and toss well with rice wine, soy sauce, green onions, ginger and star anise. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour (preferably overnight). When finished, pat dry.
Place a rack in the bottom of a wok or deep skillet, add boiling water just up to the rack. Place marinated chicken in a dish and place on rack. Cover tightly, and steam 20 minutes on medium-high heat, or until chicken is just cooked through, adding more water if necessary.
Remove chicken and line the wok and the inside of lid with aluminum foil. Combine tea with sugar, orange peel and cinnamon and sprinkle over the bottom. Once again, arrange the rack over the tea mixture. Put chicken, skin side up, directly on rack. Cover and crimp the edges of the foil so that it is airtight.
Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes (don’t worry if it smells smoky – that’s the point!). Let stand 10 minutes.
Brush chicken with sesame oil.