Drunken Chicken

juicy and flavorful
Juicy and flavorful
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For chicken and stock:
2 Chicken leg quarters
2 ½ cups Water
2 slices Fresh ginger large
½ tsp Salt
For brine:
1 ½ cups Chicken stock of your homemade, at room temperature
1 ½ cups Shaoxing rice wine Shaoxing huadiao wine
1 ½ tsp Sugar
2 ½ tsp Sea salt
1 tbsp Goji berries wolfberries, dried

Nutritional information

  • For chicken and stock:

  • For brine:

Drunken Chicken


Drunken Chicken is one of those mouthwatering, make-ahead dishes that is so emblematic of Chinese cooking. A Shanghainese specialty, steamed chicken legs are marinated with a fragrant mix of Shaoxing rice wine and chicken stock and served cold. And it couldn’t be easier to make at home.   

First, debone the chicken legs, keeping the skin on. As a swap, try asking your butcher to debone the chicken for you. Save the bones for the stock. Make the chicken stock using the reserved chicken bones, water, and ginger. In the meantime, season the chicken with salt, then roll it up lengthwise and wrap in foil, twisting the ends to form a bundle. Steam the chicken bundles, then cool in a bowl of ice-cold water. This step stops the chicken from overcooking and tightens the skin for a bite when cooled. Finally, make the brine and soak the chicken for 24 hours. Slice and serve. It’s a terrific make-ahead appetizer.       

To make the Drunken Chicken, you will need the following ingredients:

Ingridiens for Drunken Chicken

Steps to make Drunken Chicken


Prepare chicken legs


Debone 2 chicken leg quarters. Keep the skin on. Save the bones to make a chicken stock for this recipe.


Make chicken stock


To a small pot, add the chicken bones, 2 ½ cups of water, and 2 large slices of ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook over low heat for at least 1 hour. Allow to cool. You need 1 ½ cups of chicken stock for this recipe. As a swap, skip this step and use store-bought chicken stock instead.


Wrap chicken in foil


Rinse the deboned chicken legs, drain the excess water, and pat them dry. Tear off two sheets of aluminum foil, each 12 inches long. Place each piece of chicken on a sheet of foil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Roll up the chicken lengthwise, wrap in foil, and twist the ends to form a bundle. They should look like 2 wrapped candies.


Steam chicken


Steam the chicken, covered, over high heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken sit in the steamer with the lid tightly closed, for another 5 minutes.


Cool chicken


Transfer the foil wrapped chicken to an ice bath, and let it sit until the chicken is completely cool, 10-15 minutes.


Make brine


In a non-reactive container, large enough to keep the chicken submerged, add 1 ½ cups chicken stock, 1 ½ cups Shaoxing wine, 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons sea salt, and 1 tablespoon dried goji berries.


Marinate chicken


Once the chicken has cooled, unwrap and immerse the chicken in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.



Slice the chicken and serve cold or at room temperature. Store the leftovers in brine in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Want the perfect Drunken Chicken? Give this delicious and easy recipe a try, and be sure to let us know what you think! Don't forget to share your culinary creations with us on social media by tagging @cookmerecipes.

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

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Total Reviews: 1

The longer its soaked in the marinade the tastier it gets. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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