Tag Archives: Wine

Chicken in Chinese Rice Wine Recipe

Ingredients to prepare chicken in Chinese rice wine: chicken, Chinese yellow rice wine, Chinese white rice wine, ginger, red dates, goji berries, Angelica root, and rock candy.

Chicken in Chinese rice wine is a classic Chinese confinement dish that is super easy to make, as long as you can get a hold of the rice wine.

This recipe is passed down to me from my Mom, and hers specifically use two kinds of rice wine, the yellow rice wine (Chinese: huang jiu) and the white rice wine (Chinese: bai jiu) in a two to one ratio.

The requisite old ginger is there, but it also has angelica root, red dates, and goji berries. You just know it is going to taste great with a list of ingredients like that, right? ♥

What are the ingredients to cook chicken in Chinese rice wine?

  • 1 whole free-range chicken (Indonesian: ayam kampung), or 6-8 chicken drumsticks, or 3-4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 100 gram ginger, preferably old ginger, peeled (optional) and thinly sliced
  • 15 gram red dates/jujube (红枣- hong zao)
  • 10 gram Angelica roots (当归- dang gui)
  • 10 gram goji berries (枸杞- gou qi)
  • 400 ml Chinese yellow rice wine (黄酒- huang jiu)
  • 200 ml Chinese white rice wine (白酒- bai jiu)
  • 50 gram rock sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, omit if your rice wine has salt content in it

Some Chinese yellow rice wine to consider are 糯米酒 (nuo mi jiu), 紹興酒 (shao xing jiu), and 花雕酒 (hua diao jiu).

For Chinese white rice wine, I usually get a bottle of 米酒(mi jiu). I’ve even used Japanese sake instead of Chinese white rice wine and it works beautifully.

If possible, skip the cooking aisle and go to the alcoholic drink section in your Asian market. This should be where you can find all the different drinking wine such as Chinese Shao xing, Japanese sake, and Korean soju.

Any bottle you get from this aisle will be of higher quality than the ones from the cooking aisle. Plus, the drinking grade is almost certainly free of salt, so you can add as much salt as needed. Also, these wine are good for drinking too!

Chicken in Chinese rice wine.

Chicken in Chinese rice wine.

How to cook chicken in Chinese rice wine?

This is a really simple and straightforward dish. Here is my step-by-step:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a pot on medium-high heat and fry ginger until fragrant. About 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink. About 2 minutes.
  3. Add red dates, Angelica roots, goji berries, yellow rice wine, and white rice wine. Mix well, and bring to a boil.
  4. Season with salt, then turn the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add rock sugar and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and serve the chicken in immediately.
Chicken in Chinese rice wine.

Chicken in Chinese rice wine.

Traditional Chinese confinement dish

In many Chinese families, a lot of households will start making bottles of homemade rice wine whenever someone in the family is expecting a baby. Once the baby is born, the mother will start her 30 days of confinement period (坐月子- zuo yue zi).

During confinement, the mother is usually expected to stay indoors to recover, to have plenty of rest, and to learn how to take care of her baby. There is a focus on eating plenty of nourishing food too, especially food to recover and heal the body from delivering a baby, and also, food that increases breastmilk.

Most Chinese confinement food has high protein, also most will feature ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine, which is exactly what goes into this chicken in Chinese rice wine dish.

If you are indeed preparing this dish for a new mother, some people advise omitting salt and sugar, but I think it’s such a tiny amount anyway and should be quite fine, but do consult your physician. 🙂

Some other popular Chinese dishes for this period are sesame oil chicken, steamed Chinese herbal chicken, and chicken herbal soup.

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