May 17, 2020

Chinese Shaoxing Drunken Chicken 紹興醉雞

Somewhat a fancy recipe due to its appearance. However, don't get fooled by the looks, drunken chicken is actually not that hard to make, but rather require more prep-ahead time. That makes it a great dish when having guests over. Something you can finish most of the cooking process before the feast, and will definitely make an impressed scene.

Chinese Shaoxing drunken chicken 紹興醉雞 -


  • 2 deboned chicken leg quarters (that means thigh and drumstick together)
  • 350ml plus some extra aged Shaoxing wine 陳年紹興酒
  • 350ml chicken stock
  • 4 to 5 pieces angelica 當歸
  • 1 tablespoon goji berries 枸杞
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Some salt
  • Some cold drinking water


In Taiwan, generally speaking you can find chicken sold in three different styles - free range, farm-raised, and something in between. Free range chicken is more flavorful with chewier, more so bouncy texture. Farm-raised chicken tends to be meatier but with a rather soft bite. Something in between, you should be able to guess it. 

Free range version is the most expensive of course, its great flavor makes it an ideal candidate when making soup. Farm-raised chicken are preferred for fried chicken, especially for its size that come with a much more economical price tag. As for our drunken chicken recipe, free range chicken can be too tough to chew, and farm-raised version will yield a soggy bite. So try to find something in between if you can. Over here, we call it faux free-range chicken (仿土雞/腿). That'll be your best option for making Chinese drunken chicken.

Bring a pot of water to a boil then keep it at a simmer. Meanwhile, pat dry the leg quarters. Inspect with the tip of your fingers making sure there are no tiny bones present. Remove any fragments and tendons when possible.

Plate a sheet of foil beneath the leg quarter, skin side down. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of salt over and about 1/2 teaspoon of aged Shaoxing wine throughout for each leg quarter.

Try your best to roll the leg quarter into a log, then fold in the foil to wrap it like a burrito. Tighten both ends by twitching the foil, like making a candy wrap. Do the same for both leg quarters.

Transfer both rolls to simmering pot of water, make sure they're fully submerged under water. Cook with medium heat for 20 minutes then turn off the heat. Continue to soak in warm water for another 5 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook the chicken roll in a slow and gentle way.

Prepare a big bowl of ice cold water, drinking water just to be safe. I also add a big ice cube there. Once the chicken rolls are ready, transfer them to ice cold water and wait till completely cooled down. It'll further help tightening the texture, giving the later finished drunken chicken a slightly chewy bite.

Find a container with some depth and can nicely fit in two chicken rolls.

Let's make the soaking liquid. Chicken stock is ideal, but you can also use that same pot of water that the chicken rolls were cooked in. The key is equal amount of chicken stock and aged Shaoxing wine. Mine took about 350ml each. Make sure this soaking liquid can fit in your chosen container, better measure it first beforehand.

So in the pot, I have about 350ml of chicken stock and 350ml of aged Shaoxing wine. Bring that to a simmer, also add in 4 to 5 pieces of angelica, 1 tablespoon of goji berries, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Turn off the heat and wait till it cools down.

Check on the chicken rolls, once cooled down, remove foil and transfer both chicken rolls to the chosen container. You might find some gelatinous substance around the chicken, good job, that means the chicken fat was sealed nicely inside the foil and that gelatinous thing can be a great source of collagen.

Once the soaking liquid cools down, pour that into the container also, cover with lid and store in the fridge overnight. If making drunken chicken ahead of time, don't slice the chicken first, just store it in the fridge as a log and continue to soak in the liquid, should be able to keep up to few days.

When ready to serve, remove the chicken rolls from the soaking liquid. Slice and arrange onto a plate. Drizzle some soaking liquid over and garnish with fully soaked goji berries.

One important key here, don't try to slice the chicken first and soak in the liquid for too long, it'll further absorb the seasonings, and can turn quite strong with the alcohol and too salty. When making this recipe ahead of time, just store them as rolls, only slice on serving day. That means, pre-slice them and leave them on the serving plate with some juice couple hours ahead is fine, just not up to a day or more.

Not hard to make at all, and I'm sure you'll get the hang of it after first try. It just take some time to wait for the ingredients to cool down throughout the process, but that means you can also run other household errands while waiting, right?

By the way, as the name "drunken" chicken suggests, even though it's a cold dish, that alcohol still got some kick to it. Avoid eating it and driving soon after, I think the alcohol level in drunken chicken can be strong enough to surpass the legal amount.

Extended reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment