Although we live in the UK, we still follow our Chinese tradition of "Ching Ming" and "Chung Yeung" memorial festivals for our ancestors every year; to go to my father-in-law's grave side to pay respect.
It's in a rural Welsh country cemetery. People go there with flowers and with their quiet thoughts. We go there with three different types of roasts, flowers, fruits, Joss sticks, candles, tea, wine and the hell bank notes, paper clothing, scripture ... etc. to burn.
From the moment we were married, my husband and I do this together every year. You would have thought everybody who were there would stare at us in disbelief as to think," What on earth are these Chinese people doing here?" But no, anybody who happened to be walking by would just give us a smile; walked away casually as though they knew what we were doing and that nothing was out of the ordinary.
就是此類原因，令丈夫對這小村有難解的深情。那種無言的支持和瞭解，自當年還是少年的他隨家人搬來這裏開始。今天我們離開了小村已超過 25 年，每次回去，間中還會碰上仍認得他的人。
That's the reason why my husband loved that little village so much; the unsaid support and understanding expressed by the villagers ever since the family were there all those years ago when he was a teenager. We've left the village for over 25 years now. Whenever we go to visit my father-in-law's grave yard, every now and again, we still bump into someone who recognized him.
We took over getting the offering ready from my mother-in-law when she moved away to live with my brother-in-law and his family, helping them with looking after their young children and business. I have always been in charge of poaching the chicken, so I got quite good at it; even my husband has done it a lot longer than me. In the past when the children were young and were still living at home, I could make a big feast for them when we came back. Nowadays, it will take us a few days to finish the left overs.
The chicken is always our favourite, because in the supermarkets here you wouldn't be able to find any chicken with the head on for the worshiping purpose; so we would get them from Chinese supermarkets. The chicken they sell are those old hens that have finished their mothering duties and have stopped producing eggs. Their skin and meat are tougher, but the flavour are much better.
- 唐人超市老雞或普通超市的自由放養雞 1 隻，1.3kg / 3lb 以下重量。
- 把煲抹乾或洗淨，把雞放回煲內，注進泠水要浸過雞背 2 - 3 吋左右。大火燒至水沸開後轉中小火，以能保持不斷微沸的温度為準。用杓子撥去水面浮泡。把蓋放上，繼續用中小火把雞浸 25 - 35 分鐘。用長木枝或鋼枝剌進胸和腿最厚部份，沒水留出，或用食物温度探測針，有 72 - 75 C，便是熟了，如超過了沒有問題，只是熟了少許，但不能低過。因為不熟的雞不可以吃。
- 小心把雞取出以免弄破雞皮，馬上放進冷水中並開著水喉頭冲至稍涼，然後置冷水中約 15 分鐘。如有冰塊的話，可以直接把雞放進冰水裏 15 分鐘。
- 取出瀝乾，放在篩上置冰箱內待 1 小時左右，便可取出斬件。
- 小碗內倒進麻油和生抽 ( 淡色醬油 ) 各少許，混合後塗一層在已斬件雞塊的皮上，以添美味和光澤。
Poached Chicken served with Ginger and Spring onions in Oil
- A under 1.3kg / 3lb chicken from Chinese supermarkets or a similar size free range chicken from any supermarkets.
- Cut off the strings on the chicken, losing up the parts that has been tied. Place chicken in a big pan, pour hot water all over and through the inside to wash it clean, leave it on one side.
- Wipe the pan or wash it clean, put chicken back in. Fill cold water up to 2 -3 inches over the chicken. Bring water to the boil, then turn down to low-medium heat - water should just be simmering, use a ladle to skim off the scums from the top. Put on the lid, continue to poach the chicken over the low- medium heat for another 25 - 35 minutes. Use a wooden or metal skewer to test the thicker part of the chicken, if when it pulls out with no fluid or it comes out clean then the chicken is done; or you can use a meat thermometer, if the temperature reaches 72-75 C then it's cooked through. It's okay if the temperature is a little higher, that just means it's over cooked a little, but it mustn't be lower, as uncooked chicken are not safe to eat.
- Lift the chicken up carefully to avoid damage to the skin. Put the chicken in a large bowl and run it under the cold tap for a little while then keep it in cold or icy water for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, take it out from the water carefully and stand it in a sieve to drain, leave it in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting it up to serve.
- Mix a couple of tea spoonful soy sauce and sesame seed oil in a small bowl, use it to bush over the skin of the chopped chicken pieces, will help to look shiny and taste nice too!
- 撥進碗去，隨薑葱份量加進 1/2 - 1 湯匙鹽，燒沸生油，淋進薑葱蓉去拌勻便成。
Ginger and Spring onions in Oil:
- About the same amount of ginger and spring onions, peeled, trimmed and cut into similar size; put inside the food processor and blitz to fine pieces.
- Scrape them into a bowl, add 1/2 to 1 tbsp salt. Heat oil till hot, then pour hot oil over the ginger and spring onions; stir well together then serve.
白切雞 ( 又名白斬雞 )，是中國粵菜美食中最受歡迎菜式之一。做法容易；但其中美味的優點是用最簡單的方法烹調，讓天然的雞肉香味盡量透出。尤其是當用薑葱油伴著享用時，那美味之極至，可以輕易成為當桌佳肴中的主角。
Poached chicken ( also known as white cut chicken) is one of the most popular dishes among the Cantonese cuisine in China. It's so easy to do, but the beauty of it is using the simplest method and ingredients to cook the chicken; allowing the natural flavour to come through. And when it's served with the chopped ginger and spring onions in oil, it could easily become the star dish on the dinner table.