I can’t wait to share this recipe with you! This is one of those recipes where I actually felt proud afterwards…partly because of how amazing it turned out – but also because of how simple this recipe actually is! This recipe will give you a moist and tender, flavorful, and perfectly poached chicken with very little effort! You just have to remember, that if you are wanting to prepare this for dinner, to put the chicken in the brine mixture in the morning so it has several hours to soak it up and get nice and drunk. This is a slow-poaching method, where you will do part of the cooking on stove, then remove pot from heat and let stand for the remaining time. You will also be left with the tastiest broth EVER, which you can then use for soups, stews, stir-frys — you name it!
The Drunken, Ginger-Poached Chicken
Dietary Info: GF/DF/EF/NF/SF/PA (*see notes at end of post for dietary codes)
- 1 whole organic chicken (3.5-4lb/1.7kg/size 18)
- 1 Tbs. sea salt
- 1 tsp. white whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp. black whole peppercorns
- 8 tsp. organic chicken stock powder *see notes
- 2.5 c. shaoxing wine *see notes
- 10-12 cups water
- 2 large thumb-size pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 1 onion, quartered
- fresh coriander (optional)
- Take defrosted chicken, rinse well inside and out, then thoroughly pat dry.
- Crush sea salt and white and black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle (or grinder) and rub spices all over chicken, inside and out.
- In a large soup-pot, place seasoned chicken breast side up and add cooking wine and water to cover chicken completely (by about 1/4-1/2 inch).
- Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, and star anise to pot. (If you’re tempted to chuck in a few more star anise like I have in the past, just beware that it may result in a more medicinal flavor than the nice hint of licorice!)
- Now is the slow part: Cover pot and place in refrigerator for 5-6 hours (or overnight if you’re good at planning a day ahead!). This will allow the chicken to absorb the flavors as well as resulting in a far more tender poached chicken!
- After chicken has soaked in brine for several hours, remove from fridge, and place covered pot on burner on medium heat and bring to low simmer (make sure you do this on medium heat – this took my pot about 20 minutes on medium heat to come to a slow simmer). Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat, lift lid and add quartered onion then return lid and let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Do not remove the lid during this time, as you will loose your cooking heat! I let mine stand for 45 minutes and it was as tender as can be! But even if left in the pot for an hour (or more) the chicken will not overcook, as the pot will slowly cool down as it sits resulting in a slow-poached, succulent and tender-as-can-be chicken!
- The chicken is now ready to serve! Carefully remove chicken from pot (I used two pairs of tongs to keep the chicken from falling apart – as it is SUPER tender) and dish onto serving plates. You can add fresh coriander on the side as a garnish (which I didn’t do, as I was too eager to eat it – so I apologize for my boring pictures of this dish!)
- Now for the stock – don’t throw this stuff away! It’s amazing! Let stock in pot cool to room temperature, then with a strainer, pour into a few large jars that can be sealed tightly. You can discard the cinnamon sticks, ginger and spices, but the onions are glorious to use in an omelette for breakfast or on a burger or sandwich. Once the stock has been refrigerated a few hours, the fat will rise to the surface. I scrape this off and store in a smaller jar in my fridge and use it instead of oil for scrambled or fried eggs, sausages, or even just grilling your meat stove-top — it adds an incredible flavor!*Notes: I used an organic chicken stock powder for my recipe, because unfortunately I don’t always have chicken stock in my fridge. However, another great thing about this recipe, is that you will have about 2L of the tastiest stock leftover!
If you haven’t heard of “Shaoxing Wine”, it’s a Chinese rice wine used for drinking and cooking. The wine is named after a famous wine making city of the same name in China. Shaoxing rice wine is commonly aged for 10 or more years and it resembles the taste of dry sherry, and can be found in your local Asian supermarket. If you can’t find this however, you may substitute with a dry sherry or Japanese sake.
I’ve also done a little research on whether or not cooking wine is approved on the Paleo diet, and so far so good!
A few other little facts about cooking with wine: Wine adds moisture to dishes, tenderness to meats, and can also be used to substitute fats/oils when cooking and baking. Here are a few ideas I found here:
When you take some of the fat out of dishes, you usually need to add another ingredient to replace the lost moisture. Here are some examples of how wine can do just that:
- Instead of sauteing veggies in heaps of butter or oil, you can saute them in a smaller amount of oil plus some wine for flavor and moisture.
- Instead of making a marinade with 1/2 cup of oil, decrease the oil to 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup wine.
- Instead of adding 3/4 cup of oil to a cake mix recipe, add 3/4 cup of white or dessert wine to the batter.
Special Dietary Needs:
- Gluten Free/Grain Free = GF
- Dairy Free = DF
- Egg Free = EF
- Nut Free = NF
- Sugar Free = SF
- Paleo Approved = PA
- Vegetarian = V
- Low Carb = LC
The above codes for specific dietary requirements will be found under each recipe title