In classical cooking, braising is a moist cooking method in which the foods being cooked are barely submerged and the liquid never exceeds a simmer. In this case, it's a gentle, light way of infusing foods with the essence of tea. Braising helps to tenderize, flavor, and enhance the taste of the poultry, beef, or vegetables being infused.
4 tablespoons/2 ounces black tea leaves of your choice
2 quarts/2 liters spring water
Fruity olive oil, enough to coat the pan for searing
4 cloves garlic, smashed then finely chopped
1-1/2 cups/250 grams thinly sliced yellow onions (one large onion)
1/2 cup/100 grams packed brown sugar
1/2 cup/120 milliliters stewed tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes
2-1/2 pounds/1 kilogram of chicken
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 degrees C). Prepare the tea by brewing it in cool (170 degreesF/77 degrees C) water, then sieve out the leaves and set aside. Sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until softened. Add the sugar and tomatoes and stir until sugar dissolves.
To braise, place the chicken in a large pan or Dutch oven, season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover with the sautéed mixture. Add the brewed tea, then bake, covered, until chicken is tender, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours and tests done by thermometer—164 degrees F (73 degrees C). This braising liquid can also be used for other meats, poultry, or vegetables, but cooking times differ greatly according to the cuts of meat or the quantity and type of vegetables. Adjust accordingly.
Cooking with Tea:
Techniques and Recipes for
Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts and More
By Robert Wemischner and Diana Rosen
Periplus Editions/Tuttle Publishing, October 2000
164 pages, full color photographs
Recipes reprinted by permission.
This page created March 2001
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