Six-Flavor Chicken


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking

By Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Published 2009

  • About


  • 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long
  • 4 eight-star anise
  • 3 pieces dried tangerine peel, 1 by 2 inches (see Old Skin Beef, for discussion of dried peel)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 whole cho guor or nutmegs
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 3-inch-long piece ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 cup double dark soy sauce
  • 4 ounces sugarcane sugar, broken into pieces, or cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (see Wines)
  • pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts


Place the cinnamon, star anise, tangerine peel, cloves, cho guor, and bay leaves on a length of cheesecloth and sew it closed. In a large pot, place the water, stock, ginger, and spice bundle and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the soy sauce and return to a boil. Add the sugar and return to a boil. Add the chiew and return to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and return to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly cracked, and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn over the chicken and cook for 12 minutes more. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot tightly and allow the chicken to rest for 1 hour.

Remove and discard the ginger and the spice bundle. Remove the chicken and discard the skin and bones. Cut the meat into -inch-thick slices. (Reserve the liquid for another use.) The chicken can be prepared 2 days in advance.