Dark-Meat Chicken with Shallots

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

Unlike light meat, dark meat can be reheated without worry of overcooking. Since there are no crisp vegetables in this dish to wilt, it can be prepared ahead and warmed just before serving. We prefer to leave the skin attached to the chicken to provide crisp texture and additional flavor, but the fat rendered from the skin should be spooned away. If you prepare the dish ahead, remove the skin before reheating or it will turn soggy. The skin can be shredded and stir-fried for cracklings.


  • 3 pounds chicken, thigh quarters (or all thighs), boned (see above) and cubed


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup water chestnut powder or cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 tablespoons fermented black beans
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger root
  • 15 small whole shallots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Chinese chives or regular chives


  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • stir-frying
  • May be prepared ahead and warmed just before serving.
  • Suggested Beverage: Medium-bodied Zinfandel or Pinot Noir
  • Marinate the dark meat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Dust the pieces of chicken (skin attached) with water chestnut powder or cornstarch. Shake off any excess.

  • stir-fry the dark meat in the oil to brown it.

  • Make a well in the center of the wok by moving the pieces of chicken up the side of the wok where it is cooler, and spoon out the fat given off by the skin, leaving about 2 tablespoons.

  • Add the black beans, garlic, and ginger, mix them well, then add the shallots and the remaining ingredients. When the shallots have softened a little and the chicken is done (about 1 to 2 minutes), transfer to a serving plate.