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Feb 4, 2007 08:34 PM

LF: Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe

I had this dish once but dont know where to find the recipe.

It was chicken boiled in a soy sauce...I beleive that the mixture can be reused over and over ~ anyone know what this is called or where to find the recipe?

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  1. See yu gai (soy sauce chicken) is pretty easy. First, you need a pot that is just big enough to fit a whole chicken. The cooking sauce is pretty basic: start with about half a cup each of soy sauce and sugar, along with a pretty good sized chunk of ginger, crushed to bruise it. Put all these ingredients into the pot, add about half a cup of water, and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Put the chicken into the pot, and add enough water to bring the liquids to immerse the chicken a little over halfway. Return to a boil, cover, and lower heat to a simmer. After 12-14 minutes, turn the chicken over. After another 12-14 minutes, remove the chicken and allow to cool a bit. Cut into serving pieces, and ladle some sauce over the pieces. The chicken can be served hot, at room temp, or even chilled. (If you're going to serve it chilled, tho, you should also chill the sauce so you can remove the chicken fat more easily.) My mom also throws in a green onion or two at the beginning, and sometimes I also toss in a couple of garlic toes, too.

    The sauce can indeed be reused, and also works for beef tongue (total cooking time should be a couple of hours, IIRC, but peel the tongue after an hour) or chicken wings. I don't reuse it, tho...I can't afford tying up the space in the fridge.

    1. I often make the "Poached and Roasted Chicken with Soy Sauce" from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything. Bring to a boil 1 cup soy sauce, 3 cups water, 3 tbsp sherry, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 chopped scallions, 5 slices of ginger, 4 cloves garlic smashed, 1 star anise. Place chicken in liquid and continue to boil over high heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let chicken sit in liquid, covered, 20 minutes. Remove chicken and place on rack in roasting pan and roast 15 to 20 minutes at 500 degrees. The chicken stays juicy while the skin crisps up and comes out a beautiful deep brown. And yes, the poaching liquid is reusable -- he says to strain and freeze or refrigerate, adding fresh scallions, garlic, ginger each time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: akk

        In graduate school, I used to make this a lot on weekends. Generally, you're supposed to cook the sauce once a week but I've found freezing in mason jars works very well when it is too overwhelming.

        After cooking the chicken in the sauce, I like to put a couple of tablespoons in a wok/skillet, throw the chicken pieces in and reduce the sauce. You get a nice glaze and people call it red cooked chicken. A couple of tablespoons of the sauce is also good for other dishes if your stirfry is getting a little dry or needs a little something to jazz it up. The sauce gets better with each use!

      2. Here is a real easy one from Foster Farms: I had it and asked for the recipe. Super easy and delicious. My kids love it too.

        1. You can also buy this ready made chicken marinade soy sauce by Lee Kum Kee.
          The directions on making soy sauce chicken is on the label. 1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar and boil. Add chicken and simmer until done.
          It's real easy and it's delicious. You can buy this at any Asian grocery store.

          1 Reply
          1. I've tried cooking this several times with a very similar recipe to those posted here. But I never seem to get the same uniformly mahogany skin that the restaurant soy sauce chickens have. Mine is usually beige with dark brown mapping. What do the restaurants do that amateurs like me don't?

            1 Reply
            1. re: pilinut

              Most inexpensive fryers have awful looking skin. Those chicken are not well treated. My mom used to buy "fresh" chicken, then she would scrub the skin with a couple of tablespoons of salt as an abrasive. Chickens have a yellowish outer layer of dead skin (epidermis). If you don't uniformly remove the epidermis, the chicken will have a mottled appearance.