"Wind in the Pines" Chicken

The sound of water gently boiling in a kettle sounds like wind blowing through pine trees, an image loved by tea enthusiasts. The name for this baked chicken dish comes from the sesame seeds scattered on top as though blown from a breeze. To serve, stack the chicken squares on platters or skewer them with a pickled cucumber and a shrimp dumpling.

1 pound ground chicken or turkey
3 tablespoons sake
1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice
1 egg yolk for the topping, beaten
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Put half the ground chicken in a skillet with sake and cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the chicken is white. Drain in a colander, and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil and 8-inch square baking pan with a removable bottom, or line a regular 8-inch square pan with foil, allowing it to extend over two sides.

Mix the rest of the chicken with the egg, yolks, sugar, salt, soy sauce, and ginger juice. Add the cooked chicken and mix well. Spread the chicken mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the chicken is firm in the center.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and immediately brush the top with the beaten egg yolk. The egg will cook and form a glaze. Scatter the sesame seeds over the glaze. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the pan, and cut into 1-inch squares. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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