This chicken is braised in the onions and shallots sauce. The balance of saltiness, sweetness and the flavours from the onions and shallots are delicious. This recipe calls for 1-1/2 tablespoon of sugar, but I only use less than 1 tablespoon. I would advise to add in a little sugar and try whether the sweetness is enough. Too much of sugar will dominate the sweetness of the onions. And I add on another extra onion, I love onions and I feel that onions always makes a dish tastes better.
Braise over low heat, during braising, when it appears dry, some chicken stock or water may be added in. My family love sauces, so when it gets a little too thick at the end, I add in a little more chicken stock to the consistency I want. Let it boil a couple of minutes more.
(adapted from "My Chinese Kitchen" from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo)
One 4-1/4-pound chicken, fat and membranes removed, rubbed well with 4 tablespoons salt, rinsed, and place in a sitting position in a strainer to drain (I skipped this step, I just wipe chicken dry with paper towels)
Place the drained chicken on a large platter and rub with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the dark soy sauce, making certain the chicken is well coated. Tie the chicken legs together with string. (I skipped this step).
Heat a wok over high heat for 40 seconds. Add the peanut oil and coat the wok with it using a spatula. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the ginger and garlic and stir. When the garlic turns light brown, add the shallots and onion, stir to mix, and cook for 1-1/2 minutes.
Add the bean sauce, stir and mix, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the oyster sauce and stir well.
Add the wine and stir in. When the mixture begins to boil, and the stock and return to a boil.
Add the remaining dark soy sauce, the regular soy, and the sugar, mix well and return to a boil.
Place the chicken in the wok, breast side down, and with a spatula coat the chicken well. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and repeat until all 4 sides are sealed. Care should be taken that the heat is not too high, or the chicken skin can burn.
Turn off the heat. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a Dutch oven, breast side up. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Use a wooden spoon to move the chicken about several times to prevent sticking.
Turn the chicken over and simmer for another 45 minutes, moving the chicken with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat and allow the chicken to rest in the pot for 20 minutes. The sauce should reduce to 1-1/4 cups.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board, tail up, breast out. With a cleaver, cut from the tail down the backbone, until the chicken is cut in half. Remove the skin and bones. Cut into bite-sized pieces, place on a serving platter, pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with coriander, and served with cooked rice.