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chinese drunken chicken

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I'm trying to figure out how my mother used to make this stuff. The aroma that filled your head as you ate it was soooo good.


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Hi Mike,

Anyway you can be a bit more specific?

Do you recall any base ingredients?


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well, obviously chicken. chicken was still white, so no soy sauce or anything color imparting ingredient. xiaoxiang (i think that's hwo you spell it) wine i think was used to impart the alocoholic flavor. there was a clear gel that covered the chicken from what i remember. my mother served hers cold. parts of teh flesh were still pink. chicken was chopped up into pieces. i believe part of it might have been steamed.



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i know "drunken crab" is a shanghai thing, which in my estimation basically consists of wine or mirin and sugar with raw crab in it. i'm guessing a chicken version would have to be cooked though!

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Since you said Chinese, as opposed to South American (when I think of drunken chicken I think Pollo Borracho), I'm assuming you mean the cold chicken dish where the meat has been allowed to soak for several days in wine. If you do a search on Google, you'll find about a hundred variations of this recipe using everything from Sherry to Scotch to Shaoxing wine (which I assume is the right way to do it, but what do I know?). It would seem to me essential that you determine what kind of wine/spirit was used, as that would be the most pronounced flavor in the finished dish.

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Perhapes an overnight marination of mirin and sake,ginger, lemon grass,garlic,green onion,white pepper,sesame oil?

Dredged in rice flour and braised with Asian aromatics,chicken stock and a addition of mirin in the braising liquid,clouds ear shrooms and cilantro?

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caped chef-

while that recipe might sound reasonable, i know for a fact that my mother didn't go through that much trouble for the chicken.

fat guy- thanks for the heads up. you're right, there were tons of hits. will start to check through them. thanks


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And share your results with us . . . ! ! !

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from a quick comparison of about 10 recipes, drunken chicken seems to be prepared by boiling a clean, whole chicken in a mixture of water, stock, optional aromatics (most commonly ginger and/or scallion), and salt. some recipes call for steaming the chicken. after this cooking stage, the chicken is chopped up and soaked in a combination of the cooking liquid and alcohol. the alcohol is most often sherry. sometimes rice wine, white wine, or shaoxing is called for. i think i'm gonna call my mom and ask her how she did it. so delicious.


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If you post the recipe, it will be much appreciated.

Sherry is not a Chinese product, so I can't imagine that's the authentic version. But you never know.

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From what I remember, you marinate the chicken with shaoxing wine (or sherry) and soy sauce, top it with some ginger slices and green onions, then steam it. After it's done, then you soak it in a solution of Shaoxing wine and sugar (1-2 teaspoons per cup of wine), cover it and let it soak in the fridge for 24 hours. If you use mirin as a substitute, add some salt to the wine soak.

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There are many ways of doing Hua Diao Fu Gui Ji.

Scald the chicken in boiling water for a minute, and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Let it cool in the water, remove it, quarter it, rub it with salt and some grain alcohol. Let it sit like this for 2 hours, refrigerated.

Mix a lot of Shaoxing wine or sherry, about half that of the water the chicken cooked in, half that again of white wine, a few dashes of fish sauce, and a bit of grain alcohol. Put in slivered ginger, chopped Chinese parsley and scallions, salt, white pepper. Marinate the chicken for at least 24 hours, refrigerated.

Remove chicken from marinade, serve.

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I just talked to my mother and got her recipe. Sorry for the lack of definite amounts, my mother doesn't usually measure things.

Start with a whole chicken, spread approximately 3 tablespoons of salt over the surfaces of the chicken (unsure as to whether this means the inner cavity as well) and refrigerate overnight. Next day, bring a generous amount of water to boil while you rinse off all excess salt. Before boiling, my mother said that some people like to stuff the inner cavity of the chicken with some ginger and green onion. Boil the chicken for a while, until well cooked. While hot, cut the chicken into pieces. Place the chicken pieces into a bowl and cover with a mixture of xiaoshing wine and the chicken boiling liquid. Measurements are unknown. My mother didn't specify. She couldn't even tell me a approximate ratio. She just said that she usually uses a full cup of wine, and pours enough cooking liquid to cover the chicken. After that, it's just a matter of refrigeration. THat's it folks. Enjoy...


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Thanks very much.

Jinmyo, why are Shaoxing wine and Sherry considered interchangeable products in so many recipes? They're completely different, aren't they? I mean, isn't Shaoxing basically sake (rice "wine")? Whereas Sherry is a fortified wine made from grapes and fortified with brandy.

Also, where Sherry is called for in a Chinese recipe, what kind of Sherry is typically meant?

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Steve, I have no idea. I think sherry is abominable stuff and never use it. But the convention is to allow it as a substitute. Shaoxing doesn't taste like sake either, though it is a rice wine.

When using a sherry, it should be dry.

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Xhaoshing wine has a taste much closer to sherry than to saké — even though it's made from rice. A lot of cookbooks say to use sherry as a substitute because: 1) xhaoshing wine was not available in the U.S. before 1968; and 2) access to it nowadays is limited to cities that have Asian markets.

Here's the recipe I use for...

Drunken Chicken

2 pounds Chicken Breasts

2 Green Onions

2 slices Ginger

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Rice Wine

1. Bring 3 quarts of Water to a boil. Add Chicken Breasts, Green Onions,

and Ginger. Bring to a boil again and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove

from heat and let sit, covered, until cool. (About 5 hours.)

2. Drain Chicken and pat dry. Skin and bone. Cut Chicken into bite-size

pieces and mix with sugar. Pack into a 1 pint jar and fill with Rice Wine.

Refrigerate 3 to 5 days before serving.

Adapted from: Mai Leung, The Classic Chinese Cook Book, pg. 41.

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Xhaoshing wine has a taste much closer to sherry than to saké — even though it's made from rice. A lot of cookbooks say to use sherry as a substitute because: 1) xhaoshing wine was not available in the U.S. before 1968; and 2) access to it nowadays is limited to cities that have Asian markets.

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Interesting. Thanks for the info.

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The Lee/Claiborne book has a version. I'll post it if anyone's interested.

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