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Chicken and Rice in a Sandy Clay Pot

2  cups Jasmine Rice  
2 1/4  cups Cold Water  
6   Chinese Dried Black Mushrooms  
1/4  cup Dried Lily Buds (dried)
6   Chicken Thighs (preferably with the skin)  
2   Lean Chinese Sausages (about 2 ounces each)  
1  tbsp Peanut or Corn oil  
4  tsp Garlic (minced)  
3   Quarter-Sized Slices Fresh Ginger (peeled)  
1  tbsp Fermented Bean Curd (fu yu) (mashed; optional*)
4   Green Onions (cut into 2-inch lengths)  
1  tsp Potato Starch  
1/2  cup Chicken Stock  
2  tbsp Rice Wine or Dry Sherry  
1/4  tsp White Pepper  
Chicken Marinade:
1 1/2  tbsp Yuzu Soy Sauce  
1 1/2  tbsp Rice Wine or Dry Sherry  
1/2  tsp Sugar  
1  tsp Orchids Pure Sesame Oil  
1 1/2  tsp Potato Starch  
Chicken and Rice in a Sandy Clay Pot
  For entertaining, this recipe makes a fun presentation when prepared in four individual two-cup clay pots. To season a new sandy clay pot and lid, submerge both in cold water overnight.
1. Rinse with cold water until water runs clear. Drain thoroughly. Put rice and water into a 2 1/2 to 3-quart sandy clay pot; set aside. In 2 separate bowls, cover the mushrooms and lily buds with water until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cut off and discard mushroom stems; cut caps in half. Cut off and discard hard ends of each lily bud; tie each bud into a knot. Set aside.
2. Using a heavy cleaver, chop the chicken crosswise into 3 pieces cleanly through the skin, meat and bone leaving no jagged chopped bones. Toss chicken with marinade; set aside for 20 minutes. Cut sausages into thin diagonal slices
3. In a preheated wok add oil, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry over medium heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Increase heat to high; add chicken and sausages and stir occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add mashed fermented bean curd to center of wok; toss with chicken mixture. Add mushrooms, lily buds and green onions and stir-fry 30 seconds.
4. Mix cornstarch with chicken stock, wine and pepper to a smooth mixture. Pour into the wok and stir until sauce thickens, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat. Place clay pot over medium-high heat. Boil rice and stir with chopsticks to loosen grains. Continue boiling until surface water is absorbed (about 5 minutes). Pour chicken mixture over rice, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat, do not remove lid; let sit for 10 minutes longer.
4 Servings
Chicken with sausage and mushrooms, cooked with long grain rice in a clay pot, Chinese casserole style.
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