Try Jeremy Pang's recipe for drunken chicken, then check out our Chinese chicken wings, Chinese chicken dumplings, crispy Chinese chicken and more Chinese-style recipes.

Jeremy Pang says: "First-time eaters of a drunken chicken need some handholding. I liken it to the learning journey of enjoying a good whisky and the training that you have to put into it to get to that point. Perhaps the best way to approach this is to make sure you learn to enjoy the slightly gelatinous texture of a poached Hainanese chicken first.

"And you absolutely must like the taste of a good shaoxing rice wine or this dish isn’t for you. Once you get through the first hurdles, drunken chicken starts to grow on you. The meat is succulent with a bite – the ‘drunken’ nature of the dish is for those who enjoy testing out their bittersweet taste buds. Most importantly, it’s really easy to cook."


  • 4 free-range corn-fed whole chicken thighs
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 spring onions, cut into matchsticks, plus extra to serve
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced to serve (optional)


  • 100ml fresh chicken stock
  • 300ml shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp caster sugar


  • STEP 1

    Put the chicken into a heatproof bowl that can fit into the steamer (see below if you don’t have a steamer). Rub with ½ tsp of salt, then scatter over the ginger and spring onions. Mix together the stock, rice wine, soy, sugar and ½ tsp of salt in a jug.

  • STEP 2

    Steam the chicken on full steam for 30-45 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, fill a wok a third of the way up with just-boiled water, put the bowl of chicken in the middle and cover with a plate or pasta bowl – make sure the plate isn’t so large that it doesn’t allow for space in between it and the wok’s edge, so you can pick it up once the cooking is done; this will also ensure there is enough room for the steam to travel fully around the plate for proper steaming. Put a domed wok lid on top to enclose the steam.

  • STEP 3

    Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a large bowl of ice-cold water for 10 minutes to stop the chicken from overcooking and to tighten the skin for more of a bite when cooled. Pour any residual liquid from the steaming bowl through a sieve into the dressing mixture and stir to combine.

  • STEP 4

    When the chicken has cooled, remove the bones as neatly as possible – I tend to score a cross along the bone first, then carefully push the knife blade around the bones to release the meat easily. Put the chicken in a food bag or bowl, then pour over the dressing, seal the bag (or cover) and chill overnight or for up to 24 hours.

  • STEP 5

    Remove the chicken from the bag and slice into ½cm-thick pieces, keeping the skin on. Arrange in serving dishes, then warm the left-over marinade in a pan over a low heat and pour this over the chicken. Serve cold or warmed through, depending on your preference, and garnish with spring onions and chilli, if you like.


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