This easy poached Chinese soy sauce chicken recipe is so flavorful, juicy and tender. It’s the perfect recipe to switch up your usual chicken routine.
Soy Sauce Chicken or “See Yao Gai” is a Chinese chicken dish made with whole chicken poached in a soy sauce and sugar spiced stock. It’s a popular Cantonese dish that can be found hanging on many Chinese restaurant windows together with roast duck, roast pork and barbecue pork.
It may sound simple but the cooking technique is what it makes this special, intermittent poaching is the key rather than boiling. With that cooking technique, it will make the skin absorb more liquid giving it volume, texture also improves giving it a tender jelly like consistency. Meat is also different when cooked this way, unlike boiling which will loosen up the muscles, in this cooking method the meat becomes denser but really tender, it will be juicy as well locking all the moisture within. Lastly the stock plays a big part specially if you cook more than 100 chickens on that pot, definitely the 101’st will taste better than 100’th, the more chicken you cook on it the more flavourful it will become.
I rarely make this at home, like the Hainanese Chicken because they are readily available at Chinese restaurants at a very affordable price but today I feel like making one and try to beat that flavour and texture of the restaurant we usually buy this from. I know I can’t beat that because of the flavour build up on their master stock but what I can say is that the one I made came in really close.
- 2kg approx. whole chicken, room temperature
- 8 slices ginger
- 3 stalks spring onions, cut into 2-inch sections
- 3 pcs star anise
- 1½ cup Chinese cooking wine
- 1½ cup soy sauce
- 1½ cup dark soy sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 10 cups water
- ginger scallion sauce (click the link above for the recipe)
- In a large stock pot heat small amount of oil. Sauté ginger and spring onions.
- Add the star anise and rice wine bring it to a simmer, let the alcohol cook off.
- Add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar and water then bring to a boil then turn the heat off. Place the chicken into the pot fully submerge it in the liquid then cover. Leave it for 15 minutes with the heat turned off. Carefully remove the chicken from the pot then set it aside.
- Bring the stock back to a boil, turn the heat off then place the chicken in, leave it again for 15 minutes with the heat turned off. Carefully remove the chicken again and set it aside. Do this cycle for a total of 4 times, meaning you have to bring the stock to a boil for 4 times and put the chicken back and out from the pot for 4 times.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, drain well. Slice into smaller pieces then serve with ginger scallion sauce.