Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Drunken Chicken 醉鸡

Drunken Chicken 醉鸡 is a cold dish that I must order whenever I visit a Shanghainese restaurant. I long wanted to make it and finally made an attempt. 

I decided not to prepare in the traditional way of poaching a whole chicken. Instead, I chose to use large pieces of boneless chicken thigh meat and adopted a steam-poach approach with a steamer. I thought this would allow me to have better control on tenderness of the chicken meat.

Ingredients (enough for 4 to 5 pax) :

  • 3 large pcs boneless chicken thigh 
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp grounded pepper (best to mix grounded white and black pepper)
  • 2 stalks of spring onions (chopped)
  • 4 to 5 slices of ginger (chopped to thin shreds)
  • 1.5 cup shaoxing wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tub of ice

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : Drunken Chicken tastes best if the chicken meat is tender. I would avoid using breast meat.

Method :

Due to limited capacity of my 3-tier steamer. I placed 1 piece of chicken thigh in each tier. Spread chicken meat nicely in baking tins, scatter ginger and spring onions on top of chicken. This would allow aroma to seep into chicken when steaming.
A chicken broth (from steaming the chicken) would be required to make a wine concoction later. Add 1/3 cup of water into each tin. This steam-poach approach would provide sufficient broth and maintain meat tenderness at the same time. 

Steam chicken for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from steamer after 30 minutes. Dip the hot chicken meat into a bowl of ice water immediately. This process of shocking the chicken meat would smoothen the meat and allow a layer of gelatine to form underneath the skin...thereby giving us succulence when we eat.

Allow chicken meat to remain in ice water for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cut chicken meat into smaller pieces after removing from ice water. Pour chicken broth (collected from baking tins) into one bowl.
Mix 1.5 cup chicken broth, 1.5 cup shaoxing wine, 1 tbsp sugar, 1.5 tsp salt to create a wine concoction in a big bowl. Adjust wine, sugar and salt portions in accordance to your personal taste.  
Soak chicken meat into wine concoction. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight before serve.
Drunken chicken to be served cold.
Tender chicken meat and tasted very much like the restaurants' versions.


Post a Comment