Shaoxing Drunken Chicken
This Shaoxing drunken chicken (绍兴醉鸡) is soaked in a herbal chicken broth with Shaoxing wine. The result is juicy, tender & boneless chicken served in a bowl of chicken wine ‘soup’. Despite appearances, it is an easy and inexpensive dish to make at home. This is also an easier version of the drunken chicken roll because there is no need to wrap.
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To me, the best part of this recipe is the make-the-day-before aspect. The chicken needs to be soaked overnight, hence this dish has to be prepared at least a day in advance. This works out so well on busy weekdays. When you come back from work, all you have to do is to warm up the dish & slice the chicken. Your family will be amazed by how you manage to “cook” this restaurant-quality dish in such a short time ;)
The chicken broth (used for soaking the chicken) is wholesome to drink with a herbal wine aroma.
Steam chicken thighs with some ginger and spring onions. Set aside the chicken. Do not discard the steaming liquid which is concentrated chicken broth.
Place steamed chicken skin-side down without overlapping each other in a tight-fitting food container (so that you don’t need too much soaking broth). Then run the steaming liquid through a fine sieve onto the chicken. Discard the ginger and spring onions. As shown in the picture above, the liquid almost covers the chicken.
Add 3-4 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or more if preferred) followed by fish sauce to taste. As a guide to the amount of fish sauce stated in the printed recipe, the Shaoxing wine I used is unsalted. Use good quality wine without the “siap siap” (sour & acidic) taste, so that the broth is naturally sweet without the need to add sugar. If you’re lucky like me, the resultant broth is just enough to cover the chicken as shown above. If not, just top up with MSG-free chicken stock (such as the Swanson low sodium chicken stock or the Campbell real stock) to cover the chicken fully. Give the broth a good stir and season to taste by adding more wine or more fish sauce (if not salty enough). After that, add wolfberries and dang gui pieces…
… I used 1 small piece of dang gui (see the size with respect to the wolfberry) for each chicken thigh. No weight measurement is provided for the dang gui in the recipe as they are too light to measure. If your dang gui comes in bigger pieces, use only one or two pieces. Adding too much dang gui will result in a bitter taste. If this is the first time you are making this dish, go easy on the dang gui, and increase the amount next time.
Chill the covered container overnight in the fridge. The soaking broth will solidify as shown above because it contains chicken fats. To serve, warm up (not boil) the contents (some or all of the chicken pieces) on the stove or in the microwave and the solidified broth will turn liquid again.
De-bone the chicken and cut to serving slices. Serve the cut drunken chicken in the chicken wine broth, wolfberries and garnishes. Enjoy!~