White-cut chicken is a traditional Chinese preparation that calls for poaching, cutting on the bone, chilling, and serving with a flavorful dipping sauce. Chicken doesn’t have to be fried, crisp, or golden brown to be delicious. When it comes to Chinese dishes, “traditional” usually implies “old as hell” and “bajillions served,” so they must be eating something right. If you’re still not convinced after trying this recipe (highly unlikely), here’s another example of pale but tasty steamed chicken.
白切雞 (Bai Qie Ji)
White Cut Chicken
With Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce
makes 4 to 6 servings
3 1/2-pound chicken
1/4 cup kosher salt
For the Poaching Liquid:
10 cups water
6 scallions, trimmed and cut in thirds
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, smashed (optional)
1/2 cup fresh coriander / cilantro, stalks cut in half (optional)
1/4 cup Chinese white rice wine (optional)
For the Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken stock or reserved poaching liquid
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions, white parts only
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
- A heavy pot, preferably a dutch oven
- This recipe is based on two versions from the same author. The list of optional ingredients is the difference between the two.
- Also try this ginger-scallion dipping sauce recipe.
To Wash the Chicken:
- Wash the chicken under cold running water. Remove any excess fat and rub with about 1/4 cup of kosher salt. Rinse again under cold running water and drain.
To Poach the Chicken:
- In a heavy pot or dutch oven, add all of the poaching liquid ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes.
- Place the chicken in the pot and add just enough water to cover the chicken. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook while covered for about 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, drain well, and cut into bite-sized pieces. The chicken can also be chilled — refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Reserve at least 2 tablespoons of the poaching liquid for the ginger-soy dipping sauce if chicken stock isn’t available.
Mix all of the ginger-soy dipping sauce ingredients and spoon into individual small dishes. Serve the sliced chicken slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Links about Chinese White Cut Chicken: