Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 90
Chapter 90: Homemade Chicken Essence
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Ye Jiayao had thought that it was Zhao Qixuan that was treating for dinner today so she wasn’t expecting to see Mu Qinchu and Wei Liujiang.
“Li Yao, I was just about to look for you. I have the ice tickets you mentioned yesterday,” Mu Qinchu said eagerly as if he was really familiar with the chef.
Ye Jiayao’s lips twitched. “So fast?”
Mu Qinchu nudged Wei Liujiang who immediately took out a set of ice ticket and handed it to Ye Jiayao.
Ye Jiayao looked over the ice tickets calmly as she counted them. “Why are there only 500g?”
Mu Qinchu explained, “It wasn’t easy to get 1kg at once. I’ll bring you another 500g in a couple of days.”
“No need!” Helian Jing and Xia Chunfeng said simultaneously.
Xia Chunfeng, finding himself in an awkward position, signaled for Helian Jing to speak first.
Helian Jing immediately said, “Li Yao, tell me how much you need and I’ll get it for you no matter the amount.”
Was Mu Qinchu’s help really needed for this? Helian Jing wanted to be the one to help Big Yaoyao.
Xia Chunfeng couldn’t help but wheedle, “It’s just 1kg of ice, how hard can it be to get it done?”
Mu Qinchu held in his words of resentment. That’s easy for you to say because you all are careless. I had to suffer a scolding just to get this 500g of ice!
Ye Jiayao smiled. She had no doubt that Little Jing can get the ice easily, but this was blackmailed from Mu Qinchu. She was not going to let this arrogant guy off the hook so easily. She said to Mu Qinchu, “In the next days then. I know that you wouldn’t want to delay because this ice is to be used for Helian Mansion Old Princess’ birthday celebration.”
Mu Qinchu’s eyes widened. If that was really the purpose of the ice, then he must obtain the remaining 500g as soon as possible.
“The weather has been hot lately so the ice supply had been short. Don’t worry, though, I’ll do my best and I won’t cause a delay to the Old Princess’ birthday celebration,” Mu Qinchu promptly promised.
Zhao Qixuan shooed the child on the seat next to him and subsequently offered it to Ye Jiayao. “Li Yao, sit and drink with us.”
Those who didn’t really know Li Yao were stunned. The seating arrangements had always been exquisite, very distinct. The Young Royal Highness Jing was seated in the main seat, while Xia Chunfeng and Zhao Qixuan sat on the seats on either side of him. No one had any objections to this seating arrangement because their statuses were distinguished. Why on earth would Zhao Qixuan allow this chef to sit by his side? Wasn’t that a bit weird?
Out of all of them, it was Wei Liujiang who was the most shocked. This Li Yao must be the best chef ever! He had such good relationships with a group of Royal Highness and Heir-Son Lords. If Liujiang hadn’t seen this with his own eyes, he would have thought that it was impossible.
“Move away.” Helian Jing pushed Zhao Qixuan. “Li Yao, come sit here.”
Zhao Qixuan happily gave up his seat. “Yes, yes! Li Yao, come and sit.”
What was happening? Everyone was confused.
Mindful of the flabbergasted expression on the people’s faces, Ye Jiayao walked over to Helian Jing, yet she didn’t sit. Instead, she picked up a flagon and poured herself and everyone else a glass of wine. She picked up the glass and said, “Everyone, thank you for coming! I hope you all drink and eat happily. Cheers!”
Helian Jing added, “Come, come, let’s drink up.”
Everyone dutifully drank.
Ye Jiayao topped up the glasses again and said, “Young Royal Highness Jing, this is to thank you for your trust in letting me organize the Old Princess’ birthday celebration. I can’t thank you enough. Cheers!”
Helian Jing frowned and said, “Nonsense. You’re not an outsider.”
Nevertheless, Ye Jiayao drained her glass and looked over at Little Jing, smiling.
Helian Jing had no choice but to drink up as well.
On her third glass, Ye Jiayao wanted to toast to Zhao Qixuan. “Brother Xhao, I have something to ask of you.”
“You don’t have to ask, just say it if there’s something bothering you,” Zhao Qixuan immediately replied.
Ye Jiayao smiled and said, “Then I’ll assume you already agreed. I’ll tell you about it later.”
After she had downed three glasses of wine, Ye Jiayao announced, “I have some errands to run in the kitchen, excuse me. I’ll join you all in another day.”
“Are you really that busy? Aren’t there other chefs in the kitchen?” Helian Jing asked disappointedly.
“But I’m the main chef.” Ye Jiayao turned to the others. “Alright, you guys continue drinking. I’m going to leave now.”
Once she exited the door, the welcoming smile on Ye Jiayao’s face turned into a sneer. Oh, Wei Liujiang, Wei Liujiang. You’ll get what’s coming to you.
After the feast, Helian Jing and Xia Chunfeng went with Zhao Qixuan to find Li Yao. They wanted to hear what Yaoyao wanted to ask Zhao Qixuan for.
“What do you need, Li Yao?” Zhao Qixuan asked.
“I heard that you have business in the south. I want to ask if you can get me some coconut fruits from there,” Ye Jiayao answered.
“Coconut fruit? That thing isn’t tasty,” Zhao Qixuan protested.
“I have use of it.”
“Okay, sure. How many do you want?”
“These things are not spoiled easily, so if it’s convenient, the more the merrier. Can you obtain a few hundred?”
Zhao Qixuan waved her concerns away. “That’s not an inconvenience. You can have as much as you want. You’re in luck because there will be a ship going to the south tomorrow. I’ll just instruct them to get your fruits.”
Ye Jiayao exclaimed happily, “Thank you.”
“Yaoyao, if you have a problem, just come and find us. There’s no need to seek help from Mu Qinchu,” Helian Jing told her.
Ye Jiayao chuckled a bit. “I was just ripping him off. I wanted to cause him trouble.”
Xia Chunfeng laughed out loud. This Li Yao was really interesting.
Helian Jing was relieved now that he finally knew that Mu Qinchu and Yaoyao weren’t becoming friends. He said to Zhao Qixuan, “I never liked that guy. Next time, I won’t come if he’s there.”
“I only met him halfway here,” Zhao Qixuan explained.
After the three nobles left, Ye Jiayao got off work and headed over to Auntie Jiang’s house, carrying a massive bag. Tonight, she was making a very important condiment – chicken essence.
Chicken essence was a very common condiment in the modern days, but it had not been invented yet in this era.
Jiang Li opened the door. He took over the bag Ye Jiayao was carrying and shouted, “Mother! Third Madam is back!”
Auntie Jiang came out from the kitchen. “Third Madam, have you had dinner? I made dumplings.”
Ye Jiayao shook her head with a smile. “I already ate at the restaurant. You guys eat. Jiang Li, help me bring these to the little kitchen, will you?”
Jiang Yue ate the last dumplings quickly and ran out. “Third Madam, are you going to cook?”
Ye Jiayao replied, “Why, yes. If you have nothing to do, you can come help me.”
“Mother, I’ll go and help Third Madam!” Jiang Yue called happily.
Auntie Jiang laughed. “Go ahead, little girl, learn from Third Madam.”
Jiang Li went to chop the firewood and lit up the fire.
Ye Jiayao washed her hands and took out two stone mortars, passing one to Jiang Yue. “Crush that bag of rock sugar to a powder.”
Jiang Yue happily obeyed.
Ye Jiayao handled the chicken meat herself and tore the chicken breast that had already been cooked and drained this afternoon to tiny shreds. She removed the veins and placed it in the stone mortar to pound it into fine pieces.
Jiang Li was keeping busy with the fire, wondering when should he show the Third Madam the mold.
Ye Jiayao placed the tiny pieces of chicken onto the plate and separated it with chopsticks, gradually adding some fine salt into it until it was the right level of saltiness. She then proceeded to cut the ginger, spring onions, and mushrooms into tiny pieces before placing it in the crock.
“Is the pot heated?”
Jiang Li tuned back in and nodded. “It’s heated.”
“Place some salt at the bottom of the pot,” Ye Jiayao instructed.
There weren’t ovens in this era, so she could only do this the old-fashioned way. She placed some salt at the bottom of the pot and placed it on the crock to grill it.
She turned it around periodically, continuing to grill it again and again until the water has vaporized and the tiny pieces of vegetables had become crispy little granules.
Next, she grilled the chicken shreds. When it was softened, she mixed all the ingredients together and pounded it over until it turned into powder. She added some sugar and stirred it all up.
Ye Jiayao put a bit of the chicken essence on her fingertip and tasted it. Yes! It tasted really incredible! Her first attempt at making chicken essence was successful!
“Third Madam, what are these?” Jiang Yue asked curiously.
Ye Jiayao smiled mysteriously. “This is my secret condiment. Don’t tell anyone else about this, okay?”
Both brother and sister nodded. “We won’t speak a word.”
Ye Jiayao transferred the finished chicken essence into a dry container and gave the rest to Jiang Yue. “Give this to your mother and tell her to use it when cooking soup or vegetables. Just add a pinch in. Only a small pinch , okay? And only add it when the food is almost ready to be served. This would make the dish taste amazing.”
“Really? That’s really great stuff.” Jiang Yue carefully held it, worried that she’d spill it.
“Find a dry container to store it in. Don’t let it get wet because it wouldn’t be nice to use then,” Ye Jiayao reminded.
Jiang Yue nodded. “I’ll go and find a container now.”
Ye Jiayao felt great as she looked at the container of the chicken essence on the stove. This was her secret weapon. Whether she could shine on the Old Princess’ birthday celebration not only depended on the Ice Cream Mooncake, but also on this chicken essence.
“Third…Third Madam, I’ve completed the mold,” Jiang Li said hesitantly.
“That quick?” Ye Jiayao was surprised.
Jiang Li nodded. “It’s done.”
“Well, bring it out and show it to me!” Ye Jiayao said excitedly.
Jiang Li had kept the mold with him so he just quickly took it out and handed it to Third Madam.
Ye Jiayao was amazed at how delicate the mold was made. It was tiny and could easily be opened and closed. The carvings inside were exactly what she wanted.
“I took some flour and tried it on. Do you want to see the effect, Third Madam?” Jiang Li wasn’t sure if Third Madam liked it. Third Madam said she wanted it to be delicate so he made it small and dainty, but when it was done, he thought that it was too tiny.
“Yes, yes, I want to. Go get it, quick.” Ye Jiayao was just thinking of getting something to try this with.
Not long after, Jiang Li came back with some flour.
“Oh my gosh, that is so adorable!” This was what she was after! The rich mooncakes would be too filling if made any larger. This mold was perfect to just sate the appetite and the curiosity of the guests.
“Jiang Li, you have such fine hands. I love this mold very much. I have four more sample drawings here, just follow this size and make the other four.” Ye Jiayao cradled the mold admiringly.
Jiang Li smiled abashedly and scratched his head. He was happy that Third Madam was pleased.