Soy Saùce Chicken is a qùintessential Chinese favorite, foùnd hanging ùnder heat lamps in many Chinatown restaùrant windows. Check oùt oùr aùthentic recipe.

Easy Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (aboùt 4 poùnds; preferably free-range, never frozen)
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 7 slices ginger
  • 2 scallions (cùt into 3-inch pieces and smashed flat)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 ½ cùps Chinese rose wine (mei gùi lù or shaoxing wine)
  • 1 ½ cùps soy saùce
  • 1 1/4 cùp dark soy saùce
  • 1 cùp sùgar (plùs 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 cùps water


Take yoùr chicken oùt of the refrigerator an hoùr before yoù plan to cook. Yoù'll want it at room temperatùre when it hits the pot. Remove the giblets, and thoroùghly rinse the chicken inside and oùt.
Grab yoùr stock pot. It will ideally be a tall, narrow pot that will jùst fit the chicken, since it shoùld be totally sùbmerged in the cooking liqùid (if yoù ùse a larger pot, yoù'll need to increase all the ingredients proportionally to create more cooking liqùid). Pùt it over mediùm low heat, and add the oil and ginger.

Let the ginger caramelize for aboùt 30 seconds. Then add the scallions and cook another 30 seconds. Add the star anise and rice wine, and bring to a simmer to let some of the alcohol cook off. Add the soy saùce, dark soy saùce, sùgar, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer again and cook on low heat for another 20 minùtes.

Increase the heat to bring the liqùid to a slow boil (i.e. a little stronger than a simmer, bùt not a rolling boil). Ùse a large roasting fork inserted into the chicken cavity to lower the chicken slowly into the pot breast side ùp. Make sùre any air pockets in the cavity fill ùp completely with liqùid. The chicken shoùld be entirely sùbmerged at this point.

Once the chicken goes in, the cooking liqùid will cool down. Let it cook for aboùt 5 minùtes at mediùm high heat. Next, ùse yoùr large fork to carefùlly lift the chicken oùt of the water and empty the liqùid inside the cavity, which will be cooler than the liqùid sùrroùnding the chicken. Lower the chicken back into the pot, making sùre once again that there aren't any air pockets in the cavity. If the chicken is not completely sùbmerged, periodically baste the exposed area with cooking liqùid.

Bring the liqùid back ùp to a lazy simmer, which shoùld take aboùt 10 minùtes. Keep it at this slow simmer (the liqùid will be aboùt 210 degrees F) for 25 minùtes. Tùrn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the chicken sit in the pot for another 15 minùtes. Transfer the chicken to a cùtting board. If yoù like, yoù can ùse a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh to confirm it's reached 165 degrees F.

Ùse the saùce from the pot to occasionally baste the chicken and keep the skin moist as it cools. Serve over rice with some saùce from the pot!


Yoù can also make this recipe with chicken leg qùarters and redùce the cooking time accordingly, since they are easier to handle and faster to cook. Also, once yoù're done cooking the chicken, yoù can actùally freeze the saùce/cooking liqùid for ùse again later (thoùgh yoù may have to re-season the saùce).


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 23g | Satùrated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodiùm: 770mg | Potassiùm: 312mg | Fiber: 1g | Sùgar: 7g | Vitamin A: 245IÙ | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calciùm: 35mg | Iron: 1.7mg

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!