Hakka Rice Wine Chicken

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This simple yet potent dish is redolent of sweet Chinese wine, sesame oil and aromatic ginger. Hakka women often eat this during the confinement period (post-natal care after childbirth) as the wine warms the body and the ginger is said to help dispel wind from the body and prevent aches and pains later in life. The quantity of wine added can be adjusted depending on your taste preference.

Ingredients

  • Ginger 100 g ( oz), peeled and sliced
  • Chicken 1, small, about 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz), cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Sesame oil 3–4 Tbsp
  • White rice wine 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup)
  • Water as needed
  • Home-made yellow glutinous rice wine 375 ml (12 fl oz / cups)

Method

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound ginger slices to a paste, then squeeze out as much juice from the paste as you can. Reserve the ginger pulp and rub juice all over chicken pieces. Cover and let chicken marinate, refrigerated, for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add ginger pulp and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken pieces and stir-fry for 4–5 minutes, until they are browned on all sides.
  4. Add white rice wine and bring to a boil. Transfer contents of wok to a pot and add enough water to cover chicken.
  5. Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Add home-made yellow glutinous rice wine and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, until chicken is tender. Dish out and serve hot with rice.