Lunar New Year is coming very soon (2/8/2016 being the start of the new year!), which means I get to think about what yummy food I get to create in my kitchen.
I have always liked the idea of tea-smoked anything, especially chicken. Traditional tea-smoking technique requires a wok, which I know many people don't have. And since my son borrowed my wok, I thought I would experiment tea-smoking with my toaster oven. And not only did it work great, it was really tasty and easy! Now, you too can tea-smoke anything when you want to.
3 lbs of chicken (whatever form that fits inside your toaster oven)
2 TB salt (I prefer sea salt for flavor)
1/4 cup tea leaves (I use Far Leaves Tea's Everyday Black)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water (for steaming)
1 sheet of aluminum foil
1. Marinade by rubbing salt all over chicken and let sit for 2 hours.
2. Steam chicken with water for ~40 minutes or until water evaporates completely. I steam in traditional rice cooker like the above. Or you can use a Dutch Oven as long as the chicken is separated from the water.
3. In the mean time, prepare the tea-smoker by spreading the tea leaves, brown sugar, and grains of rice onto a sheet of aluminum foil on the toaster oven rack.
4. Remember to separate the tea leaves/rice/brown sugar from the tray containing chicken to avoid browning/burning of the smoking ingredients. I like using a wire rack like this which comes in handy for many things (like steaming - see note above on steaming!).
5. Set the toaster oven for 425 degrees and get smoking! Make sure to leave your windows open if you are doing this indoors to let the smoke out!
6. Pair with a nice black tea and enjoy!