Sesame oil, ginger, and cooking wine are three important ingredients in confinement recipes. If you are wondering what confinement is, you can read about it here. This drunken chicken soup or sometimes people like to call it “ke ciu” or loosely translated as chicken with wine is one of the must thing (if I can say so) when my mom prepares confinement menu. The soup is very simple to make, you only need cooking wine, sesame oil, ginger, and of course the chicken. Some believe that this soup is “heaty” and hence restore the heat that is lost during labor and delivery. And you don’t have to just deliver a baby to be able to enjoy this soup. My husband enjoys eating this soup too
DRUNKEN CHICKEN SOUP
- About 2 1/2 to 3 lbs of whole chicken
- 4 Tbsp of good quality sesame oil
- 6 of 4-inch ginger slices
- 3 cups of Shao xing wine
- 4 cups of water
- Pinch of salt and sugar
Remove any extra fat from the chicken and its cavity. Leave the skin on and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces (with bones). You most likely need a cleaver to get this job done. If you are not a fan of chopping chicken with its bone, you can use boneless chicken thighs/breast or whatever you prefer or leg quarters
Heat a large pot or wok until really hot. Add in the sesame oil. Add in the ginger slices and stir fry until really fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the chicken pieces and stir-fry until the chicken turn opaque, about 5 minutes or so. Splash in the wine. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for about 10 minutes (if you are concern about alcohol content, the alcohol will be cooked off during this period). Add in 5 cup of water, salt and sugar and then bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer for the next 1 hour or until the meat is cooked through and tender. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
The 4 cups of water may be substitute with cooking wine if you want more wine in the recipe, for example when you are preparing this for "confinement"