Chinese poached chicken with ginger

Chinese poached chicken with ginger
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Ready in 1½ hours

This clean, simple Cantonese-style recipe for whole poached chicken is a healthy recipe for January and works well at Chinese New Year, too, served with salad and spicy seasonings.

Or, use a whole chicken in this nourishing, restorative recipe for Chinese chicken noodle broth.


  • 1.5-1.75kg organic free-range chicken
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

For the table seasonings

  • 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced

For the salad

  • 1 cos heart lettuce, torn into small pieces, washed
  • 20g fresh coriander sprigs
  • 4 spring onions, halved and finely shredded
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and sliced


  • Remove any fat and all the skin from the chicken. You will need to cut the skin here and there but don’t cut into the flesh. Rub inside and out with a little salt and set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Put 3.6 litres of water, the spring onions and ginger in a large pan. Bring to the boil. Add the chicken and bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Set aside for 1 hour.
  • For the seasonings, heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the peppercorns and shake for a few seconds. Coarsely crush in a mortar, mix with a little salt and tip into a bowl. Finely grate the ginger and mix with the garlic and soy in a second bowl. Finally, mix the vinegar, sugar and red chilli in a third bowl.
  • Drain the chicken and cut into pieces. Arrange on a warm serving plate.
  • Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Serve with the chicken and seasonings, along with steamed basmati rice.


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