2012 JAMES BEARD RISING STAR CHEF NOMINEE

Danny Bowien's POACHED CHICKEN

A signature dish from the chef at San Francisco's Mission Chinese Food

TEA-POACHED CHICKEN

Serves 4

1 (4-lb.) chicken

¼ cup kosher salt

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked short grain rice

1 cup roasted peanuts

½ cup dried dates or figs

4 tsp. sliced fresh ginger

2 black tea bags

½ cup soy sauce

1 cup chopped cilantro

1. Rub chicken with salt; cover and chill 8 hours. Rinse; pat dry.

2. Combine rice and next 3 ingredients. Stuff into chicken. Tie legs together with string.

3. Heat broth and 8 cups water in large saucepan to boiling. Add chicken, breast side down, and tea bags; return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, turning chicken after 30 minutes.

4. Remove chicken from broth and quarter. Strain broth, reserving any rice mixture. Stir soy sauce into remaining broth, and salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice stuffing and side of broth.

Dave Beran's FRESH TIPS

The chef from Chicago's Next restaurant shares his fave ways to make the most of produce-aisle staples

ASPARAGUS

Try dressing cooked spears "with a little fresh olive oil, lemon juice and crunchy sea salt," says Beran. Or, "it's great raw, cut very thin on a bias and added to a salad."

WATERCRESS

"Watercress is one of my favorite spring greens because it's very peppery," he says. "You can toss it in a hot saute pan with a little oil, and it will still maintain a crunch."

STRAWBERRIES

His recipe for a treat that's savory and sweet: Slice strawberries in half, place in a hot saute pan with a little oil. Sear one side until black, remove, allow to cool (cooked side up). Season with sugar, black pepper and salt.

BLUEBERRIES

For "an interesting twist," make a blueberry vinaigrette, says Beran. Bring 1½ cups blueberries, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup port wine and 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar to a simmer. Cool, then strain, discarding solids. Whisk ½ cup berry liquid with ½ cup olive oil. Add salt and pepper.

CUCUMBERS

"My grandmother had a trick for cucumbers," he says. "She'd slice them thin, put them in a jar with sliced onions, cover them with a little water, a little sugar, salt and white distilled vinegar and let them sit for 3 days. It was a fresh pickle."

For more on the James Beard Foundation Awards, go to jamesbeard.org

Adapted from Mission Chinese Food's recipe

  • Contributors:
  • CONTRIBUTORS Thailan Pham,
  • Suzanne Zuckerman.