Shaoxing Drunk Chicken

Shaoxing drunk chickenWhen you read that title, did you get a picture in your head of inebriated chickens tottering around?

Well, you’d be half right, except that this little chicken isn’t going anywhere except right into the pot! Shaoxing wine as the main flavoring, which not only gets rid of the ‘fishy’ smell in raw meat but also aids digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Drunk Chicken is unique to Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisine and is a classic example of its refreshing and delicious fare. Every New Year in the rural areas of Zhejiang, almost every household will have this dish on the table.

The original method was to clean and cook the whole chicken, cut it up and then marinate it in Shaoxing wine for two days. Drunk Chicken is used in Chinese medicine as a delicious and healthy medicated dish.

Shaoxing drunk chicken

Drunk Chicken only works with Shaoxing wine. Other rice wines or sorghum wine are too strong and produce a spicy, choking taste.

Shaoxing drunk chicken

Today I will teach you how to make my fragrant drunk chicken so succulent that the meat falls off the bone. Making Drunk Chicken is very easy, and if you follow my steps here, you can be sure of a beautiful meal.

The seasoning is kept basic so as to highlight the delicious chicken flavor and it is best served with a variety of vegetables. Simple, straightforward, and cost-effective, yet it rivals more complex rice dishes with its first-class taste.


  • 1 fresh tender chicken
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bottle Shaoxing wine
  • 10 goji berries

How to make drunk chicken:Shaoxing drunk chicken step1

Step 1

Wash and dry the chicken, and rub the salt evenly all over the chicken inside and out. Fold up the whole the green onion and place it inside the chicken cavity. The selection of ingredients for Drunk Chicken is critical, do not use a frozen chicken, it must be fresh.

The meat on a freshly slaughtered chicken is sweeter and juicier and has enough of its own flavor without the need of extra spices. If you do not have a whole chicken, you can chicken fillets instead.

Step 2

Place the salted chicken in a freezer bag and store in the refrigerator (at 4 degrees Celcius) for two days.

Step 3Shaoxing drunk chicken step2

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and rinse off the salt inside and outside.

Steam the chicken for half an hour or so. Turn off and leave the chicken in the steamer until it is cool. The cooling process helps retain the chicken stock and keep the chicken meat succulent.

Step 4

Don’t be tempted to replace Shaoxing wine with cooking wine. The mellow flavor of Shaoxing wine is still more flavorsome than ordinary cooking wine. To make up the required volume of marinating liquid, use half Shaoxing wine and half chicken stock – drunk chicken juice.

Immerse the steamed chicken in the drunk chicken juice, sprinkle the goji berries into the juice, and refrigerate again for 2-3 days, turning halfway to distribute the flavor evenly.

A special note here: Do not add too much Shaoxing wine or the taste of the wine will be too strong, and make the chicken bitter.

I did not add star anise or fish sauce to the drunk chicken juice because the fresh chicken has enough flavor of its own. After chilling, the chicken juice should be jelly-like, an indication of high protein content.

Step 5

Cut up the chicken and serve with a sprinkle of chopped green onions.

The simpler the ingredients, the more delicious the taste.

Shaoxing drunk chickenShaoxing drunk chickenShaoxing drunk chicken


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