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Red Glutinous Wine Chicken

Red Glutinous Wine Chicken Recipe

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Update (Jan 2014): First posted in Apr 2011, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.

This is a homely recipe for chicken cooked in red glutinous rice, or more famously known as Hong Zao Ji (红槽鸡) in the local Chinese foo chow (hock chew 福州) community.  This dish is very nourishing and beneficial especially for ladies. It is a popular confinement dish (the month of recuperation after childbirth), but thankfully you do not need to be on confinement to enjoy this dish.

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I acquired the liking for this dish from my mother. I’m not sure if you are put off by the red hue of the chicken (for I was when I was a child), but if you ever have a chance to taste this dish, do give it a try – I sure was glad I eventually tasted it and there was no turning back after.

Home-made Red Glutinous Wine Lees

Home-made Red Glutinous Wine Lees

I’ve cooked this dish so frequently now that the cooking method has evolved to become somewhat comfortably sloppy – for example when I am busy I don’t even marinate the chicken before cooking. But you know what, it still tastes great. To me, the secret in making this dish lies not on your cooking expertise, but whether you can procure good quality wine and wine lees. The quality of the wine lees can make or break this dish. I’ve tried supermarket wine lees and it was really terrible (no wine fragrance with a sourish aftertaste). When my mother went back to her hometown and brought back her home town’s red wine lees, I instantly knew what good wine lees are – the taste was superb, and no matter how I cooked the dish, it still turned out delicious. Yes, wine making is an art. Currently, I got my supply of home-made wine lees from my auntie (sorry, she is not taking orders), and for the wine, I use any rice wine (sometimes the supermarket sells Foochow rice wine but personally I don’t think it is special). If you are lucky enough to have both home-made wine lees and red glutinous wine, that will be perfect. For the extra wine fragrance, I drizzle 2 tablespoons of good quality Hua Diao Jiu as a finishing touch. The result is heavenly, judging by how we always fought at the table for the last bit of gravy.

34 comments on “Red Glutinous Wine Chicken”

  1. I remember your Mee Sua dish when I was “red” for this dish. I was just going to lament how to cook this dish as I cannot get your “Mom’s hometown wine”…and then you said “not taking orders”…..wah, double disappointment! ;p

  2. My ex-boss passed me a bottle of her MIL home made wine lees and red glutinous rice wine. So, I cooked this dish once. Very yummy with sesame oil and ginger.

  3. Sounds and looks very interesting. I don’t eat meat but I might make this for my boyfriend who does. I hope he’s not afraid of the color :).

  4. Actually- it doesn’t look all that ‘red’ to me – I’ve seen ‘redder’ dishes!

  5. ~ Try to paired this dish with a glass of cognac… the result is just heavenly.

  6. I love Hong Zao Jiu either with chicken or mee sua. One of friend taught me how to make Hong Zao but after trying it, I’m still not up to her standard.

  7. As you know, 红槽鸡 is always my favour Fu Zhou cuisine. ^^

  8. My mom made a lot of this dish as well as the mee sua version for me during my confinement and I never got tired of the taste! Her friend gave her a lot of fantastic wine lees which she made herself and I happen to know a young lady who makes such wine lees and wine at home for sale. Her wine and wine lees are of the sweeter version, which my family loves.

  9. Gonna give a try to this recipe. I still have 1 jar of red wine lees from my mom in the fridge :)

  10. Lovely recipe….

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