Drunken Chicken

May 19, 2023


A Shanghainese cold dish known as “drunken chicken” is made by marinating chicken in rice wine. Nook & Pantry created this recipe for drunken chicken.

Since its inception, I’ve been reading and admiring Nook & Pantry’s food blog. I’ve been following the site for a few years now, and it’s grown tremendously in recipes and photos.

In the Nook & Pantry, Amy chronicles her culinary adventures. The recipes on Nook & Pantry are easy, delicious, and down-to-earth, everyday dishes that I enjoy making. As a Shanghainese meal, Amy’s family’s drunken chicken is one of my favorites.

When Bee first asked if I’d be interested in contributing an essay to Rasa Malaysia, I said, “Sure!” One of my favorite culinary blogs, Rasa Malaysia, invited me to submit a guest article. On the other hand, choosing a recipe proved to be a challenge.

A meal showcasing the fantastic seafood in the Pacific Northwest vs. one honoring my Chinese ancestry was on my mind.

Although Bee and I enjoy fish, I ultimately chose the latter because Bee preferred Asian cuisine. My ancestors hail from Shanghai, where drunken chicken is a popular delicacy. Even though summer is winding down, this cold and refreshing meal may be just the thing you need to beat the heat.

My uncle’s drunken chicken was the greatest I’ve ever had while visiting my family in Shanghai. He found a plain-looking Tupperware container filled with bite-sized pieces of chicken in a wine-spiked aspic in the fridge.

Even if I cook the chicken delicately, the breast meat is never as flavorful as the dark meat in Drunken Chicken.

The first time around, I used a whole chicken; however, the second time, I only used leg quarters and was pleased with the outcome. Cooking the chicken can be accomplished in one of two ways.

A more time-honored technique is to poach a whole chicken in a pot of barely simmering water. Chicken broth may be made from a giant pot of water, and it’s a terrific soup ingredient. The chicken can also be steamed.

The greater temperature in the steamer is more tolerable for dark meat. Regardless of how much wine you pour on that chicken breast, no one appreciates a dry, cardboard-like piece of meat. This delicate aspic can be made by steaming the chicken legs, which release roughly a cup of gelatin-packed chicken stock concentration and then adding Shao Hsing rice wine.

The most delicate part is the jello, gelatin, aspic, or whatever you want to call it. It’s a far cry from the weirdly colored, rubbery combination seen in most American cafeterias. As a self-basting system for the chicken, this aspic is flavored chicken and wine and wraps around each piece to make it melt in your mouth.

If you’re not a fan of jello, the best way to serve drunken chicken is cold, regardless of how you prepare it. If you want to fill it with a contrast of temperatures, pair it with a bowl of noodles in hot chicken broth or a bowl of fluffy white rice.

The Chinese cleaver is the only snag. Traditional practice is to chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces using a Chinese cleaver after cooking so that it may be readily picked up with chopsticks.

Designed to pierce through skin, flesh, and bone with a single swat. Avoid doing the same with a chef’s knife since it will never forgive you for it. Because of the knife’s weight, a Chinese cleaver is exceptionally durable.

The key is to have a laser-like focus and move quickly and decisively. You can cut through the bone in one swift motion, but you can’t cut through it entirely in one go. Even a split second of hesitation can result in a sloppy cut or shards of bone.

Slaughtering a chicken isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly acceptable. It is possible to marinate tiny pieces of meat such as drumsticks, but it is better to score more significant portions of flesh before marinating so that the wine may get within.

What is the average number of calories in one serving?

  • Each serving of this recipe contains only 487 calories.

With this recipe, what are its complementary dishes?

I’ve compiled a collection of recipes that are both healthy and quick enough to prepare on a weeknight.



  • Ice cubes and water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 0.5 oz. (14 g) ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 lbs. chicken, dark meat preferably
  • 1 1/2 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 4-6 green onion, white parts only, sliced lengthwise


  1. In a bowl, combine the salt and two peppers. Let the chicken sit for an hour after seasoning it with salt and pepper all over.

Poaching Method:

  1. Bring 6 cups of water and the green onion bottoms and ginger to a boil in a Dutch oven or big pot. Stir in the chicken after the water has reached a rolling boil. Simmer for ten minutes at a low simmer on the stovetop. Lift the chicken out of the water after 10 minutes, and make sure the stock in the cavity empties back into the pot if you’re using a whole chicken. For an entire chicken, do this three times. Make a gentle toss in the pot or reposition the leg halves to ensure they cook evenly, whether using chicken pieces or leg quarters. Let the chicken poach for another ten minutes, then turn off the heat and cover the pan.

Steaming Method

  1. Bring a steamer’s water to a rolling boil. Assemble the chicken in a single layer, scatter the green onion and ginger on top, and steam for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature near the bone is 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73 degrees Celsius) or higher. The longer the chicken pieces are steamed, the more time it will take to cook. Make sure to rearrange any moving parts while cooking to cook evenly.
  2. Combine water and ice cubes in a blender, then add the chicken and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes total time. Shock the chicken once it has cooled to room temperature if you poached it. After steaming the chicken, give it a quick shock with ice water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Make bite-sized pieces out of the cooked chicken or score the flesh with a knife once it’s been sliced up. In an enormous container, combine the chicken pieces and store them. Combined with the sugar and rice wine, 3/4 to 1 cup of the chicken stock (liquid from poaching or steaming) should be used. Add salt if necessary to the marinade. Before serving, let this sit in the refrigerator for at least a few hours. Serve chilled.
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