One of the best things you can get in Chinatown is the chicken with garlic ginger sauce. The chicken is boiled. Boiled! A cooking method even more boring than steaming.
And yet it's delicious because -- when you get a good one -- the chicken is feather-follicles-still-popping fresh. No need for Maillard reactions and sears and marination. The chicken just is.
I did not have super-fresh chicken, but I made do with the other means I have to reap the most chicken flavor -- slow-cooking. I'm coming around to the slow cooker. It wants the chicken to be chicken. The bones infuse the meat. The meat infuses the bones. The slow-cooker is a tautological way of cooking, self-referential and meditative in its own chamber of taste.
The ginger is essential. I think too often stews get murky. Even with hours of cooking, the ginger maintains its piquancy.
RECIPE: Sear and season de-skinned and de-fatted chicken drumsticks and thighs. Add to slow cooker. Mince ginger, garlic, and onion. Saute over medium-high heat until browned. Add to slow cooker. Mix one tablespoon of miso paste with 1/4 cup of very hot water. Stir until mixed. Add to slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
You might want to add soy sauce or sesame oil or something to make this more obviously "Asian." Don't bother. The deep taste of chicken + ginger + garlic is enough to carry the message.