Drunken Chicken (醉雞) | Christine's Recipes: Easy Chinese Recipes | Delicious Recipes

Drunken Chicken (醉雞)

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When Alvin placed his Drunken Chicken with Bruised Salad before the MasterChef judges, it’s amazing to watch how the judges were impressed by Alvin’s creation on TV show. The satisfaction shown through the judges’ facial and verbal expressions really got me want to try Alvin’s drunken chicken at that moment. The meat is succulent and penetrated with the rich flavour of Chinese rice wine. Best of all, it’s simple and easy to make. Yet, I never thought that mirin could be used in this famous Chinese dish. The mirin adds a bright touch to the chicken and enhances the flavour of the stock.

Alvin’s dishes always shine his cleverness of mixing sweetness, tang and heat as Matt Preston, one of the MasterChef judges quoted on the magazine,

“Alvin stole our hearts with this dish (in fact, it was George’s favourite of the series), which he put up at the start in the childhood memories challenge. At its best, Alvin’s food is loaded with crunchy textures and a delicious interplay of sweetness, tang and heat. This dish is no exception.” – Matt Preston

Follow Alvin’s thinking of how to incorporate childhood memories in cooking, I also added some wolfberries (杞子) that my mother used to put in this dish because my mother believes they are beneficial to our health, still keeping the traditional savory taste by adding a small amount of soy sauce. (Hop over to see how I made use of the sauce leftover - Updated on 11 Aug. 2010)

Drunken Chicken01

Drunken Chicken (Printable recipe)

Adapted from Masterchef Magazine August 2010 Issue4

MasterChef Magazine

  • 1.6kg whole chicken, rinsed, patted dry
  • 1 L Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine), available at Asian grocery stores
  • 500ml/2 cups mirin, available at Asian grocery stores
  • 90gm/1/2 cup palm sugar, grated
  • 200 ml light soy sauce (I added this in the original recipe)
  • 30 wolfberries (I added this in the original recipe), rinsed
  • coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish
  1. Place 3L water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add chicken and blanch for 5 minutes. This removes any impurities. Remove chicken from the pan and discard water. Reserve pan.
  2. Combine Chinese rice wine, mirin, sugar, 750ml (3 cups) water and soy sauce in the reserved pan. Stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Add wolfberries. Reduce heat to low, return the chicken to the pan, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of a thigh is pierced with a skewer.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan. Cut into pieces. Divide and serve on plates with soup, sprinkle with wolfberries or coriander for garnish. Served with steamed rice, sweet & sour cucumber or any salad you like.

Drunken Chicken02


  1. Christine, your dish looks better than Alvin's one on Masterchef!!!! I love the whole chicken maryland and the colour that coats the skin of your chicken. So tender, so fall-off bone so penetrated with goodness juices!!!!

  2. Love the colour of the chicken here. Love the ingredients used. Must be very delicious with rice. The wolf berries gave it added beauty.

  3. What coincidence! We are doing chicken dish at the same time and pairing with just another "star" ingredient. Yours is cooking wine and mine, coconut. Drunken Chicken sounds so easy to make. I need to get some mirin first.

  4. A very delicious and tonic chicken dish! The bright red colour of Goji and the vibrant golden wheat coloured chicken are just perfect together!

  5. wow you used 1l of Shaoxing wine! I love Chinese wine and always on the lookout for dishes that use it, gonna bookmark this recipe :)

  6. I saw and i thought... I must make it too! And I do love using mirin. I use it quite a lot in chinese cooking.

  7. Adding mirin sounds interesting and new to me, but as you said, the chicken looks bright with it. Here, drunken chicken is always served chilled.

  8. I can't wait for it to steal my heart, and it wont take much by the sounds of it. I just need to figure out what wolf berries are, probably called something different here.

  9. Nice nice!! Beautifully done. I have not used mirin before. will have to check out for it.

  10. This sounds amazing! I have to get some palm sugar now!

  11. I had drunken chicken few months back that left me with an impression, but hers was dry. I have not used mirin before too, have to check out on that.

  12. I'm eyeing that recipe as well. Great job!

  13. This recipe sounds delicious!!
    Do you have a picture of what mirin looks like? What is palm sugar and do you have a picture of it?

  14. Hi Christine, your drunken chicken is even looks better than the pix in the Masterchef Magazine.

  15. To SusieQ,
    I've got a picture of mirin on my previous post. As for palm sugar, take a look here.

  16. I also made this from the masterchef website and I had to add about 2 tsp of salt, some sliced ginger and spring onions and garlic cloves to it. It tasted really good. I used chicken legs which were more tender. I plan to make this again sometime soon. Do u think if i were to follow ur adaptation and add 200 ml soy sauce it will be better? Or just stick to the salt? I think soy sauce has more flavour to it though. Def the recipe was a bit sweet so u do need to add some form of salt to it.

  17. hi sorry but i think u forgot to reply my question. do u think soy sauce would be better than adding salt to it?

  18. @Lilian:
    The soy sauce adds a bit of colour and more flavour in the dish.

  19. thanks, will try again this time with soy sauce, i'll let you know what i think the results are.

  20. btw, do u think adding 1 star anise and 1 cinammon stick will add some depth and flavour to the stock? suggestion please.

  21. @Lilian
    I guess so. Let me know how it goes if you try.

  22. This was a really spectacular meal. I couldn't decide whether I liked the chicken or the stock better. Wolf berries were a little expensive and I considered leaving them out. I'm so glad I didn't and am looking forward to finding other uses for them. Thank you for posting this recipe, I can't wait to prepare this for friends.


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