This drunken chicken recipe doesn’t call for chickens who’ve had one too many martinis. It actually gets its name from the step of marinating moist, cooked chicken pieces overnight in Chinese rice wine mixed with sugar, ginger, and other flavorings.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup Chinese rice wine
3 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 pieces ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Discard any lumps of fat from the chicken.
Place the chicken in a 1 1/2-quart heatproof bowl.
Thinly slice the ginger and then lightly crush it.
Add the chicken broth, rice wine, brandy, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and white pepper.
Be sure to evenly coat the chicken with the mixture.
Add water to the wok until it’s about about a quarter full.
Arrange four chopsticks tic-tac-toe style slightly above the water level.
Bring the water to a boil.
Place the bowl that contains the chicken on the chopsticks and cover the wok.
Steam the chicken over high heat until it’s no longer pink when cut, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the steaming juices.
Let the chicken cool slightly.
Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Strain the juices and skim the fat.
Place the sliced chicken in a serving bowl.
Pour enough juices into the bowl to cover the chicken.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Serve the chicken chilled with the gelatinized juices.
The steaming liquid in which you marinate the cooked drunken chicken overnight may gelatinize by the time you remove it from the fridge. In fact, this gel is really one of the best parts of the dish — serve it with the chilled chicken.
Tip: Because you serve drunken chicken cold and it improves with longer marination, you can prepare it well in advance. It’s a foolproof (80 proof, even) recipe.