Chinese Red Cooked Soy Sauce Chicken

Red Cooked Soy Sauce Chicken

Sodanie Chea / Flickr / CC

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
541 Calories
25g Fat
21g Carbs
56g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 541
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 154mg 51%
Sodium 3890mg 169%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 56g
Calcium 96mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Soy Sauce Chicken is an example of red cooking, whereby meat or poultry is simmered in a soy sauce-based liquid with seasonings. Chicken cooked this way is very juicy, with the meat coming easily off the bone. The rich sauce can be used again the next time you prepare soy sauce chicken or other red-cooked dishes; just add more soy sauce and/or spices as needed. Over time, the sauce becomes even richer, with a fuller flavor.

Star anise and Szechuan peppercorn can be purchased at Asian markets, or you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons five-spice powder and black peppercorns.


Steps to Make It

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

  2. In a pot large enough to hold the chicken (e.g., 8-quart pot) combine the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sugar, fennel seeds, star anise, roasted Szechuan peppercorn, ginger, cinnamon stick, and the water. Bring to a boil.

  3. Add the chicken, breast side down. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook the chicken for 45 minutes, turning over once or twice and making sure it cooks for an even amount of time on both sides. Baste the chicken for a minute or more each time you turn it over.

  4. After 45 minutes, turn off the heat and the let chicken sit, covered ​until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 170 (about 77 C).

  5. Remove the chicken from the pot, cool, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

  6. If you like, reheat up to 1 cup of the sauce to serve over the chicken. Reserve the sauce to use again: bring to a boil, cool, and store in a plastic container in the freezer.