Sunday, 9 September 2012

Zuiji or Drunken Chicken

Zuiji or Drunken Chicken

Yes Chicken can also get drunk :) This dish is named so because the chicken is marinated in potent rice wine. I picked up this dish from an authentic Chinese recipe book, which mentioned that in China they also prepare a similar kind of dish with fish, which for obvious reasons is called a Drunken Fish.  Well, When I first prepared this dish, for a friends meet, everyone laughed their heart out, just getting to know the name. But when it came to taste the chicken, they were all amazed by the simple and wonderful taste of this dish. Hence I thought, I must share with my other friends too...

Preparation Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time      : 35 - 40 minutes
Cooling Time       : 8 hours in fridge
Difficulty              : Very Easy
Serves                  :  4 - 6

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 kilos of Whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 Scallions, roughly chopped 
  • 3 slices Ginger root, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Salt 
  • Water to cover
  • 2 cups Rice wine or Dry Sherry (you can always use Sherry if you think the smell of Rice wine is too strong for you)
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar

  • Method :

      1) Add the chicken, scallions, ginger and salt to a large pot and add cold water to cover.
     2) Bring to a boil over medium-high flame, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
     3) Remove the chicken pieces to a large bowl and set aside to cool.
     4) Discard the scallions and ginger and bring the broth back to a boil.
     5) Continue to boil until the volume of the broth is reduced by about half.
     6) Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
     7) Mix 2 cups of the concentrated broth with the rice wine or sherry and sugar. (Save the remaining broth for soup.)
    8) Check and adjust seasoning, if required. Now, pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
    9) Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade (it may have gelled at this point; that's good) and use a heavy cleaver or knife to cut them into bite-sized pieces.
    10 ) Arrange the pieces neatly on a plate and serve. 
    11) The marinade is served either cold and gelled or it can be lightly heated until it melts and served in small bowls as a dipping sauce.
    This dish is mostly served cold, because it is meant to be a summer dish. But I generally heat up both the chicken and the marinade before serving. This dish can also be served as a starter, instead of main course.

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