CHINESE DRUNKEN CHICKEN
I’m in love with you, drunken chicken! That’s what I’m referring to.
For those unfamiliar with Drunken Chicken, it’s just chicken marinated in Shaoxing wine, which has been utilized on this blog numerous times. So many Chinese dishes use it as a key element.
Chinese drunken chicken is a classic Shanghai-style appetizer served cold or at room temperature. The predominant flavor in this Chinese Drunken chicken recipe comes from the Shaoxing wine, which is why it’s critical to use a high-quality bottle.
You should also try Drool-worthy Chicken or Kou Shui Ji, which is one of our clan’s most popular cold appetizers.
Zhejiang province’s Shaoxing is a city with a long history dating back over 2500 years, and it is well-known for its rice wine. Using Shaoxing wine to cook with chicken, for example, enhances the flavor and texture of the meat. Shaoxing wine’s real flavor is captured in Drunken Chicken.
Angelica root, red dates, and wolfberries are commonly used in this Drunken Chicken recipe (aka goji berries). There are medicinal qualities to all of these, but I decided to leave them out of the recipe–except for the Goji Berries, which are now more readily available.
Okay, let’s get started.
STAGE 1: CHICKEN AND STOCK PREPARATION
- 2 chicken leg quarters
- 2 large slices of ginger
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
STAGE 2: BRINE
- 1 ½ cups of homemade Chicken broth you made
- 1 1/2 cups of shaoxing huadiao wine (绍兴花雕酒)
- 1 tablespoon of dried goji berries/wolfberries
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
- Keep the skin on while deboning the chicken leg quarters. Keep the bones so you may use them to make homemade stock for this dish. Perhaps you might ask your butcher to assist you with this stage!
- Put the ginger, 2 12 cups water, and the chicken bones you set aside in a small pot. Boil and simmer for 1 hour (or longer). For the recipe, we’ll need 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. If you wish to use chicken stock at the supermarket, you can skip this step.
- Your deboned chicken should be rinsed off and then properly dried with paper towels. Grab two 12″-long pieces of aluminum foil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt over each piece of chicken before placing it on a piece of foil. The chicken should be rolled up lengthwise, wrapped in foil, and then twisted to produce a candy-like bundle.
- For 20 minutes, while covered, steam the chicken in the foil over high heat. Keep the lid tightly closed and let the chicken steam for an extra five minutes after you turn off the heat.
- Place the chicken in foil-wrapped form in an ice bath, and allow it to chill entirely there for 10 to 15 minutes. This process keeps the liquids contained and enhances the texture of the chicken overall.
- The brine must now be made. Use a glass loaf pan, which is non-reactive. Add the 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups Shaoxing wine, sugar, salt, and goji berries (or anything narrow and deep where the chicken can stay immersed would do). Unwrap the chicken and add it to the brine once it has cooled. For 24 hours, cover and chill. Slice and serve at room temperature or when cold. Typically, this meal is offered as a cold appetizer. Keep in mind to keep the chicken in the brine until serving and to always use clean utensils when handling the chicken or brine. Eat the chicken within three days.
- Note: We used equal parts wine and broth to prepare this dish. You can alter the ratio based on whether you prefer a stronger or weaker wine flavor. But take care. Be careful because increasing the wining ratio can make the chicken harsh.