David's Recipe for Red-Cooked Chicken

Very easy to make and to serve. A professional chef from China told me that he had never heard of this, and that he doesn't think it's authentically Chinese. So much the worse for the Chinese.

Main Course, Chinese

  • 2 small stewing chickens. Depending on how you want to serve them, you may want to tie the chickens so that they keep their shape.
  • 1-1/2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 stars anise
  • 4 soup spoons brown sugar
  • 4 soup spoons white sugar
  • 4 1/2-inch slices fresh ginger
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer.
  2. Simmer for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes so that the whole chicken is submerged equally, and will absorb the same amount of taste and color.
  3. Turn off the burner and allow the chicken to finish cooking in the residual heat. If you are not serving it immediately, keep the chicken in the cooking liquid to absorb more taste and color, still turning every once in a while.
  4. Serve hot or cold. Keep the cooking liquid for use as a sauce base.

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