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Drunken Chicken Chinese Recipe: A Mouthwatering Delight

For those seeking a tasty and eye-catching dish to prepare, consider trying out a drunken chicken recipe. This well-known Chinese cold appetizer involves tender chicken marinated in a delicious blend of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and various seasonings. The name "drunken" comes from the wine used in the marinade, imparting a hint of boozy flavour to the chicken.

A whole chicken marinating in a mixture of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and scallions, ready to be cooked in a pot

Origins and Cultural Significance Drunken chicken is a traditional dish that originated in China's Jiangsu province. It is believed that the dish was first created during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and it has been a popular dish ever since. The dish is often served as a cold appetizer at banquets and other special occasions, and it is also a popular dish to bring to a potluck or picnic.

Essential Ingredients To make drunken chicken, you'll need a few essential ingredients, including chicken, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions. You can also add other seasonings to the marinade, such as garlic, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns, to give the dish a more complex flavor. If you want to add a seafood twist to the recipe, you can also use shrimp or scallops in place of the chicken.

Key Takeaways

  • Drunken chicken is a popular Chinese dish that features tender chicken soaked in a flavorful marinade made with Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and other seasonings.
  • The dish originated in China's Jiangsu province during the Ming Dynasty and is often served as a cold appetizer at banquets and other special occasions.
  • Essential ingredients for the dish include chicken, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions, but you can also add other seasonings and seafood to the recipe to give it a unique twist.

Origins and Cultural Significance

A whole chicken submerged in a pot of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions, simmering over low heat

Zhejiang Province

Chinese Drunken Chicken, also known as "Zui Ji," is a popular dish with a long history in Chinese cuisine. The dish is believed to have originated in Zhejiang Province, a coastal province located in the eastern part of China. Zhejiang Province is known for its abundant seafood, and the region's cuisine is characterised by its use of fresh ingredients and delicate flavours.

In Zhejiang Province, Drunken Chicken is traditionally made by poaching a whole chicken in a broth of Shaoxing wine, ginger, and scallions. The chicken is then marinated in the same broth overnight, allowing the flavours to penetrate the meat. The result is a tender, juicy chicken with a distinct wine flavour.

Chinese Banquet Traditions

Drunken Chicken is a popular dish at Chinese banquets, where it is often served as an appetiser. In Chinese culture, banquets are an important social occasion, and the food served is often a reflection of the host's wealth and status. Authentic Chinese Drunken Chicken is a dish that is sure to impress your guests and elevate the overall dining experience.

When preparing Drunken Chicken for a Chinese banquet, it is important to use authentic ingredients and traditional cooking methods. The dish should be served cold or at room temperature, and the chicken should be sliced into bite-sized pieces for easy serving. To add a seafood twist to the dish, you could consider using fresh prawns or scallops in the broth, which would complement the wine flavour and add a delicious seafood element to the dish.

Essential Ingredients

A whole chicken submerged in a pot of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions. Steam rising from the simmering liquid

When it comes to making Chinese Drunken Chicken, there are a few essential ingredients that you will need to make sure you have on hand. These ingredients will help to create the unique flavour and texture that this dish is known for. Here are some key ingredients that you should consider:

Selecting the Chicken

The first and most important ingredient is, of course, the chicken. You can use a whole chicken or just chicken legs or thighs depending on your preference. When selecting the chicken, make sure that it is fresh and of good quality. If possible, choose organic chicken, which is free from hormones and antibiotics.

Key Flavour Enhancers

To create the unique flavour of Chinese Drunken Chicken, you will need to use a few key flavour enhancers. These include ginger, salt, Shaoxing wine, rice wine, soy sauce, goji berries, red dates, star anise, sesame oil, scallions, and cilantro.

Ginger is an essential ingredient that adds a spicy kick to the dish. Salt is used to bring out the natural flavour of the chicken, while Shaoxing wine and rice wine are used to create a rich, complex flavour. Soy sauce adds a savoury umami taste to the dish.

Goji berries and red dates are used to add sweetness and a unique flavour to the dish. Star anise adds a slightly sweet and spicy taste, while sesame oil adds a nutty flavour.

Scallions and cilantro are used to add freshness and a pop of colour to the dish. If you want to add a seafood twist to the recipe, you can consider using prawns or scallops. They will complement the flavours of the dish and create a unique texture.

In summary, selecting fresh chicken and using the right combination of flavour enhancers is key to making a delicious Chinese Drunken Chicken.

Preparation Techniques

Whole chicken marinating in Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. Pot of water boiling with star anise and Sichuan peppercorns

Marinating the Chicken

To prepare the chicken for the drunken chicken recipe, you will need to marinate it first. The marinade is a crucial part of the recipe as it infuses the chicken with flavour. You can use a variety of ingredients for the marinade, including soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, ginger, garlic, and green onions. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use oysters or clams to enhance the flavour of the marinade.

To marinate the chicken, you will need to mix the ingredients in a bowl and then add the chicken. Make sure the chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces so that it can absorb the marinade properly. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge overnight or for at least 24 hours.

Cooking Methods

Once the chicken has marinated, you can start cooking it. There are several methods you can use, including steaming, boiling, and braising. Steaming is the most popular method for drunken chicken as it keeps the chicken moist and tender. You can use a steamer basket or a steamer plate to steam the chicken.

To steam the chicken, you will need to place it on a plate and then put it in a steamer basket or on a steamer plate. Cover the basket or plate with a lid and steam the chicken over low heat for about 20-30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Drunken chicken can be served as a cold dish or as a main course. If you're serving it as a cold dish, you can garnish it with sliced cucumbers, green onions, and cilantro. If you're serving it as a main course, you can pair it with steamed rice or noodles.

To serve the chicken, you can arrange it on a plate and garnish it with your choice of toppings. If you've added seafood to the recipe, you can also use it as a garnish. The seafood will add a unique flavour and texture to the dish.

In conclusion, the preparation techniques for drunken chicken involve marinating the chicken, cooking it using different methods, and serving it with a variety of toppings and garnishes. By following these techniques, you can create a delicious and flavourful dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Whole chicken simmering in a pot of Shaoxing wine, ginger, and scallions. Steam rising as the liquid infuses the meat with rich flavor

If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-make Chinese dish, then you should definitely try making drunken chicken. This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves tender, juicy chicken with a slightly sweet and savory flavor. Here's a step-by-step guide to making this dish at home.

Poaching the Chicken

The first step in making drunken chicken is to poach the chicken. To do this, you'll need to fill a large pot with cold water and add some chicken broth or stock. Bring the water to a boil, then add the chicken legs and thighs. Make sure to keep the skin on the chicken as it will help keep the meat moist and flavorful.

Let the chicken cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until it's fully cooked. Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and let it cool down. Once it's cool enough to handle, slice the chicken into thin pieces and set it aside.

Preparing the Marinade

The next step is to prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, mix together Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, and some herbs like ginger and spring onions. You can also add some jujube and wolfberries to give the marinade a slightly sweet taste.

Once the marinade is ready, pour it over the sliced chicken and mix it well. Cover the bowl with tin foil and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Finishing Touches

To finish the dish, you'll need to steam the chicken. Place the marinated chicken in a heatproof dish and steam it for about 10-15 minutes. Once it's done, remove it from the heat and let it cool down.

You can serve the drunken chicken cold or at room temperature. It's a great dish to serve as an appetizer or as part of a main course. If you want to add some seafood to the dish, you can try adding some shrimp or scallops to the marinade.

Overall, drunken chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that's perfect for any occasion. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful and tender chicken that's sure to impress your friends and family.

Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for a serving of drunken chicken:

  • Calories: 380
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Protein: 40g

Note: The nutrition facts may vary depending on the ingredients used.

Variations and Substitutions

A whole chicken, marinated in Chinese spices, sits in a pool of Shaoxing wine and soy sauce. Ginger, garlic, and green onions add flavor

Alternative Ingredients

One of the great things about drunken chicken is that it is a very versatile dish, and there are many different ingredients that you can use to make it your own. For example, instead of using chicken, you could use other types of meat, such as pork or beef. You could also try using seafood, such as prawns or scallops, for a delicious twist on the classic recipe.

In addition to the protein, there are also many different herbs and spices that you can use to add flavour to your drunken chicken. For example, you could add some chilli to give it a bit of a kick, or some angelica root for a more herbal flavour. You could also experiment with different types of berries, such as goji berries or red dates, to add some sweetness to the dish.

Adjusting the Alcohol Content

If you want to adjust the alcohol content of your drunken chicken, there are a few different things that you can do. One option is to use a different type of wine. For example, instead of using huadiao wine, you could try using a different type of Chinese rice wine, or even a different type of alcohol altogether, such as sherry or brandy.

Another option is to adjust the amount of alcohol that you use in the recipe. If you want a stronger flavour, you can use more wine, or you can let the chicken marinate for longer. If you want a milder flavour, you can use less wine, or you can marinate the chicken for a shorter period of time.

Overall, there are many different ways to make drunken chicken, and the recipe is very adaptable to different tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer dark meat or light meat, spicy or sweet, there is a variation of drunken chicken that is sure to please your palate.

Frequently Asked Questions

A whole chicken marinating in a mixture of Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, ginger, and spices, ready to be cooked in a pot

What's the best way to marinate chicken for a proper drunken chicken dish?

The best way to marinate chicken for a proper drunken chicken dish is to use Shaoxing wine, which is a type of Chinese rice wine. You can marinade the chicken by placing it in a bowl with Shaoxing wine, ginger, green onions, and salt. Allow the chicken to marinade in the fridge for at least 24 hours before cooking.

Can you suggest a simple method to prepare drunken chicken at home?

Yes, a simple method to prepare drunken chicken at home is to poach the chicken in a mixture of Shaoxing wine, water, ginger, and green onions. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, shred the chicken and serve it cold with a dipping sauce.

What are the origins of drunken chicken and who first created it?

Drunken chicken is a traditional Chinese dish that originated in the Zhejiang province of China. The exact origins of the dish are unclear, but it is believed to have been created during the Ming dynasty. It was originally made with yellow wine, which was believed to have medicinal properties.

What ingredients are essential for an authentic Chinese drunken chicken recipe?

The essential ingredients for an authentic Chinese drunken chicken recipe are chicken, Shaoxing wine, ginger, green onions, and salt. Some variations may include sugar, soy sauce, and Sichuan peppercorns.

How should one reheat drunken chicken without drying it out?

To reheat drunken chicken without drying it out, place the chicken in a steamer basket and steam it for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken in a covered dish in the oven at a low temperature (around 150°C) until heated through.

What does the term 'drunken chicken' actually signify?

The term 'drunken chicken' signifies that the chicken has been marinated in alcohol, typically Shaoxing wine. The alcohol gives the chicken a unique flavour and helps to tenderize the meat.

As a suggestion, you can also use seafood such as prawns or scallops in your drunken chicken recipe. Simply add them to the marinade and cook them along with the chicken for a delicious seafood twist on this classic dish.