This is a traditional dish made by poaching a whole chicken in a pot of simmering water. The water then simmers to a clear and extremely delicious broth that’s great for soups.
For me the winning ingredient is the Shaoxing wine (紹興酒) which totally transforms this dish. This wine is a Chinese wine fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing in the Zhejiang province, hence its name. There are many varieties of shaoxing wine but the best shaoxing wine for making this recipe is the Shaoxing Hua Diao due to its mature taste.
The liquor-flavoured chicken can be eaten warm or kept in the fridge and eaten cold which for me is the best part as all the gelatine from the chicken solidifies with the wine.
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1hour 03 minutes
1 Whole chicken
80 grams palm sugar
2 Litres water
1 ½ litres hot water
1 Litre Shaoxing wine
250 ml mirin
100 ml light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Goji berries
½ teaspoon chicken powder
½ teaspoons salt
2 whole sprigs spring onions
3 slices ginger
Chopped Coriander or Spring onions for garnish
1. In a deep pot, bring 2 litres hot boiling water to boil. Add whole chicken and blanch on high heat for 8 minutes. This helps to removes any excess brown scum, remove chicken, set aside and discard the water.
2. Clean pot, add in soy sauce, 1 ½ litres water, palm sugar, mirin and shaoxing wine. Heat on a medium heat and stir until the palm sugar dissolves.
3. Soak goli berries for 2 minutes in warm water, rinse and add into the pot. Follow by salt, ginger, spring onions and chicken powder. Cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes, switch heat off and allow chicken to sit in its own broth for a further 20 minutes. Remove from pot, use a toothpick or chopstick to pierce the thickest part of the leg, juices should run clear.
4. Cut the chicken with a cleaver; serve onto a plate with optional extras on top. Ladle the broth into bowls. Garnish. Serve.
Winse Chan is a rising chef from Scotland, a food enthusiast and soon to be author of a cookbook that she is currently working on about classic and authentic Chinese recipes, passed down from generations, inherited from the women who have influenced her cooking skills.
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