Foolproof Chinese Soy Poached Chicken 鹵水雞 (GF options)

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“I received a free sample of Kikkoman soy sauce mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Kikkoman and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.” 

Warm, Fragrant, Aromatic…What was that? I dashed into the kitchen and carefully opened the large lid to take a peek and see what was inside. There was a rich soy marinade bubbling away furiously. The beautiful thick brown glaze had begun to set around the chicken and pork, creating a glistening sheen that was now apparent against the reflection of the kitchen lights. I took another deep breathe trying to take in the familiar fragrant, aromatic flavors. It had been a long time since I had smelt this familiar scent. Memories of my grandmother starting flooding into my mind.

Anyone who knew my grandmother loved her for her warm spirit, kind heart and generosity. She was not only smart, but also an exceptionally talented cook. When I was younger she would spend nights at our home to look after us while my parents were at work. Throughout my childhood, both her and my grandfather become a constant source of delight for us. They would take us to play on the swings; my grandfather taught me how to cycle on a 2 wheeled bike, whilst my grandmother would whip up the most amazing food for us whenever she could.

Whenever she finished making a delicious pot of chicken congee or homemade sweet green bean soup, she would call our names affectionately in her heavily accented english, “Zoe, Mia, Raena” (in that order) beckoning us to come eat. All three of us would run up to her smiling, because we knew something delicious would be awaiting us.

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Sundays were always my favorite because it meant my grandparents were going to cook food for us. Sometimes it was her homemade dumplings or wontons that would take several hours to make. Other times it would be my favorite scallion ginger crab or her pork chop rice or even her infamous Braised Pork Ribs. It’s really honestly hard to choose which was my favorite but I must say it is her Soy Braised Chicken Wings and Eggs – a Chinese/ChiuChow classic. My grandfather spent most of his childhood in ChiuChow (a province in China) and thus much of what we ate growing up was heavily influenced by their local cuisine and method of cooking.

This delicious braising liquid is so versatile that you can add any sort of meat in it (boned-in of course). We often use this one to make soy braised chicken wings and pork’s feet (trust me, It may sound rather odd, but it is truly something you have to experience rather than hear about), eggs or even beef shanks. We would even use it for fish as well. Every Chinese New Year (once a year) she would make this gorgeous, flavorful Soy Sauce Braised Fish that was so tender it falls off the bone. It would be made several days in advance in a large metal pot so that the fish can sit in the marinade and stew in the thick soy braising liquid for a few days. The longer it sat, the more flavorful it was.

No matter what variation of this recipe she made it always tasted so, so good. It has become such a favorite that it is the most requested dish we bring to any single family potluck or dinner. Being able to take a break off school this Christmas to be with my family was such a privilege. The first day we arrived home to Hong Kong, Zoe and I were treated to a feast, but the highlight of that evening’s meal was the homemade braised pork feet and eggs. Out of everything else we ate at home, Zoe and I missed eating this the most. The smell was heavenly and it tasted even better than I remembered. One bite into the soft tender meat, I felt my whole body relax. It was really good to be home.

After a moment of silence, I turned to my mum and said, “Lets not go out to eat this Christmas, I just want to stay at home and eat this everyday.” (And you need to know Hong Kong has a lot of amazing food) Zoe nodded in agreement and smiled quietly as she licked her lips and fingers in contentment.

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Now that Chinese New Year is approaching, Zoe and I couldn’t resist the temptation of recreating this childhood favorite of ours. Our family recipe is simple -a combination of rock sugar, Chinese aromatics, Lee Kum Kai’s Chicken Marinade Sauce and water. Since some of the ingredients may not be as accessible in the States, Zoe & I adapted this recipe so we could still enjoy it while we’re away from home. The technique we used is also slightly different because we wanted to make sure that even with a cheaper cut of boneless chicken we would still obtain the most tender and moist chicken. Traditionally, the Chinese prefer using boned-in meat for this dish because there is so much more flavor, but the method we have selected to use will guarantee that the texture will be perfect even without the meat on the bone. The best thing about this dish is the remaining soy braising liquid. Save it and throw in a different type of meat – the flavor just gets better and better every time you cook it – and you have another meal ready for you.

With Chinese New Year coming up, Zoe and I want to present to you a FOOLPROOF recipe for soy braised chicken breast. The tender, moist chicken is infused with flavors of soy, ginger, scallion. A simple, yet beautiful winter dish to serve to your family.

Thank you Grandma for this wonderful recipe!

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Soy Sauce Chicken (港式鹵水雞) is one of the most classic and famous Teochew/Chiu Chow recipes. This dish popular across Southeast Asia and many version of this can be found as a result of the migration of the Chiuchow people to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Southern China, Thailand. Every family will have their own version of this recipe and it is definitely a much loved meal in our immediate and extended family. This particular method of braising any sort of meat (traditionally chicken wings, pork feet, eggs) in soy sauce for hours – results in a very, very tender, moist, fall-off-the-bone texture. To achieve this, we used a rather simple, quicker poaching method that would allow us to recreate a similar texture but with a inexpensive and unconventional cut of meat. Trust me, it is just as good! You can make this in big batches which makes it perfect for any family gathering. The best part is leftovers, because they taste better after sitting overnight!

Ingredients – serves 3-4 as a side

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast (whole)
  • 1 cup Kikkoman Traditionally Brewed Soy Sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp Five-spice powder
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1″ ginger, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Garnish: Spring onions, Sesame seeds

How to Make:

  1. Cut 1 bulb of garlic into half. Prepare your spring onions and ginger.
  2. In a pot, combine all the other ingredients except for the chicken.
  3. Bring it to boil.
  4. Add your chicken breast (whole) into the braising liquid. This will lower the temperature of the mixture, so once the chicken and liquid comes back to a boil, remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Cover and let it sit for 20-25 minutes to fully cook through. (If you leave the chicken in the liquid for longer, don’t fret because the chicken won’t overcook).
  6. Once cooled, remove your chicken breast and slice the chicken into 1/4″ slices.
  7. Garnish with finely chopped spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and serve with some of the braising liquid.
  8. BONUS: keep the remaining liquid in the fridge. You can use it again for another batch of meat later on that week. You can even use it as sauce for noodles or in rice. The flavor improves the more times you cook it and there is no wastage!

Notes:

Gluten Free: You can use Kikoman’s Gluten Free Soy Sauce in place of their regular soy sauce

Meat Substitute: Chicken Wings, Chicken Drumsticks, Pork feet, Beef Ribs, Stewing Beef (you will have to adjust the cooking time for each of these).

LOVE,

Zoe & Mia

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(This post is featured on Sunday Food and FitnessMerry Monday Link UpThank Goodness It’s MondayInspiration MondaysMotivational MondaysTwinkly TuesdaysHearth and SoulGluten Free FridaysWeekend PotluckTraffic Jam Weekend)

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks so tender and delish – will have to try your method!

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks Deanna! Definitely! I hope you like it!

      Like

  2. I love that this is your grandma’s recipe. I’ve never tried this classic Chinese method and can’t wait to do so!

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you!! This was inspired by our grandmother’s recipe. Can’t wait for you to try it!

      Like

  3. ilkasblog says:

    What a delicious way to have chicken – makes me want to go to the store to pick up some soy sauce for tonight’s dinner! Pinning!

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank You Ilka! Yes! definitely try this recipe out! This is so delicious, tender and easy!

      Like

  4. tinmccarthy says:

    looks so yummy!
    #twinklytuesday

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks Kristin!!!! 🙂

      Like

  5. Aw such a traditional recipe! It looks amazing and sounds right up my street. Lovely tale behind it too xx #twinklytuesday

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thanks Sarah!! 🙂 So sweet of you! Glad you liked this one 🙂

      Like

  6. amielizabethblog says:

    Looks so tasty! I’ve been really craving chinese food and stir fries etc, and this would go great with asparagus and brocolli 🙂

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      What a great idea! Asparagus and broccoli sounds perfect with a bowl of white rice!!! We always have steamed/stir-fried greens with this at home too!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      Like

  7. kaylaloves says:

    This looks incredible! I will be trying this out for sure!! #twinklytuesday

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Aww Thanks Kayla! Please do!!! Let us know how it turns out!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks delicious! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you!!!! 🙂

      Like

  9. Ohhhhh this sounds incredible and I’m just about to work out this weeks meal plan.

    #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Yeah this definitely a great weeknight meal! Perfect comfort food! I hope you enjoy it!!! Let us know how it turns out!!

      Like

  10. ilkasblog says:

    Featuring this amazing recipe at tomorrow’s Sunday Fitness & Food! Congrats!

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    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you!! Woohoo! So excited! Can’t wait to check it out tomorrow! We will be linking up our newest recipe tomorrow!

      Like

  11. I love to poach chicken – it makes it so flavourful and moist – and the cooking liquid you have used sounds absolutely amazing! I’m a big fan of Kikkoman sauces. What a fabulous idea to use them in the poaching liquid. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! I also really enjoyed reading your family food memories of your Grandma’s cooking. Time spent around the family table is so precious! Thank you so much for being a part of Hearth and Soul. Scheduled to pin and sharing. Hope to ‘see’ you at Hearth and Soul again this week.

    Like

    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank you April again for stopping by! I’m there with you! Poached chicken is the best – it’s healthy, easy and moist 🙂 it really turned out so so good! Thanks for sharing this Zoe and I can’t wait for hearth and soul hop today!!!!

      Like

  12. Sandra says:

    If there is ever the day when I was made to choose between your recipes or stories,it would be a very sad day. Thanks so much for another wonderful shared memory and great recipe. 🙂
    Question – Can I use a chicken breast with the skin and bone in?

    Like

    1. zoelaucy says:

      Thank You Sandra! What a sweet compliment!! 🙂 This totally made our day! To answer your question: we haven’t tried using boned-in chicken, but you definitely would have to cook it for longer. Make sure to cut through the meat to check before serving just to be sure. As for the skin, my best advice is to remove since it doesn’t add any flavor except for extra fat. With the skin on, you will also have to skim off excess fat as it cooks. We are so excited for you to try this – hope it turns out well and let us know how it turns out!!!!

      Like

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