Drunken chicken

In this recipe from Gary Rhodes, vintage Shaoxing rice wine, dried Chinese plums and a host of other unique herbs and spices gives this chicken an intense flavour
By Gary Rhodes
Drunken chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling overnight
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 x 1.25 kg qing yuan chicken

For the blanching stock

  • 5 litres water
  • 50 g ginger, sliced
  • 100 g spring onions
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chicken, powder
  • pinches freshly ground white pepper
  • 300 ml shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

For the drunken broth

  • 2 litres water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 50 g spring onions, chopped into 3 pieces
  • 30 g ginger, sliced
  • 5 dried Chinese plums
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 50 g wolfberries, (goji berries)
  • 150 ml shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 50 ml vintage 15-year-old shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry


1. For the blanching stock: in a large pot, bring the water to the boil and add the ginger and spring onions, then season with the salt and sugar. Add the chicken powder and stir until dissolved, then add the white pepper.

2. Dip the chicken slowly in and out of the boiling stock for at least three times, to firm up the skin.

3. Bring the blanching liquid back up to the boil, then add the Shaoxing wine. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then immerse the chicken in the liquid. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, then plunge the chicken into a bowl full of ice cold water. Drain, then set aside. Reserve a little of the flavoured wine stock for the broth.

4. For the drunken broth: in a large pot, bring the water to the boil and add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, star anise, spring onions, ginger and dried plums. Season with the salt, sugar and chicken powder. Cook for one minute on a rolling boil, then strain through a sieve to remove the solids and allow to cool.

5. Once cooled, add 50ml of the reserved wine stock and the Shaoxing rice wine to the liquid.

6. Remove the backbone and legs of the chicken, then cover with the drunken broth. Sprinkle over the wolfberries over the chicken, then cover with cling film and leave to chill in the fridge overnight.

7. To serve, debone the chicken and chop into bite size pieces. Serve with the druken broth so it half covers the chicken. Finish by pouring over the vintage Shaoxing rice wine.

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