Fannibal Dinner Party #2: Silkie Black Chicken

Here’s the dinner I made for this week’s Fannibal Dinner Party, following the challenge Something Hannibal Would Serve Will Graham!

I decided to go with two themes – one, I went for the Silkie Chicken Soup that Hannibal made Will in season one, episode Releves, because I love learning Chinese recipes and I had never cooked with a silkie chicken before.  For dessert, I wanted to parody Will being fed the ear, but I also wanted to represent it in the show’s food style.

Here are some preparation images…

I started the dessert first, since sorbet would take awhile to freeze and I heard the white fungus takes about two hours to rehydrate and cook.  The white fungus was cooked in a slow cooker with some wolfberries, jujubes and rock sugar for sweetness.  I found the rock sugar actually added negligible sugar to the white fungus so I had to make up for that later.

Dragon fruits are so pretty, and very grotesque/strange-looking fruits so I thought it would be perfect for a plated dessert.  I scooped out the contents and mixed it with some coconut milk into my ice cream maker to make the sorbet.  This required half an hour of churning and two more hours in the freezer until it was set.

Slow cooker dessert!

Now for the main event, the braised silkie chicken!

This also needed to happen early because the braising time takes about an hour.

I had prepared broth using another silkie chicken a couple days before.  Since I believed Hannibal would have “enriched” his broth as well, I added some pork ribs – check out how gelatinous and rich this made the broth!  Trust me, the flavor showed!

Every plating is a learning experience for me. I wanted to make this very foresty.

Do you like the hiding chicken claws?  I thought that would be in line with how the show presents food!

The finished silkie chicken!  The meat was very rich and perfectly salted with this recipe (no prior brining needed).  It’s a relatively lean bird, so one bird equates to feeding two people.

Here’s my “prep area” also known as my dining table also known as my office-when-I’m-not-eating-or-cooking ;)  Yay Manhattan apartments!

Do you like my high tech panini maker?

I got addicted to sprouted bread recently.  I know that it does not actually provide much greater health benefits than regular whole wheat bread, but I enjoy the flavor more.

Close to show-time!


First Course: Sardines and Avocado Toast with Pickled Shallots

  • I was thinking, how would Hannibal take Will Graham’s cooking and try to show him something new with it.  I think Will would be pretty straight-forward with the fish he catches, grilling/roasting/pan-frying it, so this would be Hannibal showing a new way for Will to prepare fish!
  • Hannibal made Will his chicken soup in a genuine attempt to be restorative, and I’ve been sitting on this recipe of an avocado and sardine combo as a healthy recipe for restoring a better Omega 6 to Omega 3 fat ratio.
  • Here is the recipe that gave me the original idea. Add quick-pickled shallots (2 parts vinegar to 1 part water and 1 tsp of sugar for 1-2 sliced shallots, pickle for 1+ hours), red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. On the side is some pimientos and citrus for color.


Second Course: Dark Soy-Braised Silkie Chicken with Restorative Broth

  • I was so excited for this recipe because it’s new for me, and it turned out delicious!  It’s hard to find consistent information on preparing silkie chicken successfully, so I did a trial run with the broth on Wednesday which gave me the idea for the full dish (separating the broth and the chicken meat).
  • Several comments suggest Hannibal probably put people in the soup, so to make the broth richer I simmered some pork ribs along with the chicken. I followed the rest of Hannibal’s on-screen recipe (minus people): wolfberries, ginseng, ginger, red dates and star anise, and added Chinese yam, kale, shiitake mushrooms and baby corn as per on-screen reference and Pig Pig’s Corner’s recipe.
  • Don’t tell the guests, but I also followed Charles Phan’s secret ingredient for chicken broth, dried sea worm (he talks about it in Vietnamese Home Cooking and I just happened to come across some at New York Mart in Chinatown, NYC…)
  • The braised chicken recipe was pretty religiously followed from the New York Times recipe. It’s REALLY delicious – a very intense chicken flavor.  You’ll have to buy a whole bottle of dark soy sauce for it but it’s worth it!
  • In the show, it seems Hannibal used kale to give color and beauty to his soup. I boiled some, but decided to serve most on the side as decoration. Do you see the chicken feet i saved? :)
  • The chicken is garnished with red chili threads.


Dessert: Honeyed White Fungus with Dragonfruit Sorbet in a Persimmon Cup, with a Palmier (PalmEAR!) and lychees, syrup-hydrated jujubes and blackberries

  • This one was so much fun!!!  I really tried to go with the spirit of the show’s food stylist, Janice Poon!
  • The dragonfruit sorbet is from this recipe, I replaced the water with coconut cream and used my kitchenaid ice cream maker.  It turned out to be a really refreshing flavor and was ready in two hours, I really recommend this as an impressive but simple dessert!  Make sure you save the pretty dragonfruit shells in the freezer for serving…
  • I noticed Janice Poon used white fungus in the same episode where the silkie chicken soup is served, and I also found this fungus is used in the same type of restorative broth that Hannibal prepared with the silkie chicken.  I decided to go the dessert route after looking at this recipe. I slow-cooked the fungus, dried jujubes and wolfberries on low for one hour with plenty of rock sugar to sweeten them.  Then instead of serving it soup style, I drained the fungus. When I plated it inside the dragonfruit shell, I drizzled a mixture of Lihue honey, coconut butter and hot water over the fungus to sweeten it further.
  • The palmier is from Ceci Cela in SoHo, NYC.  I didn’t realize how BIG it was going to be until I was about to plate dessert!  That’s not gonna fit down Hannibal’s ear-feeding-chute… but it fit in our bellies just fine…
  • I bought the pretty purple flowers this morning. They are just there for show :)

Looking forward to next week!  If you haven’t seen it, here is my first Fannibal Dinner Party menu!

Posted by Lisa on 2014-03-07 21:27:55 | FEED YOU WITH A KISS