Drunken Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Mr Hong

By Dan Hong

Published 2014

  • About



  • tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • tablespoons white soy sauce
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) Shaoxing wine
  • 4 cm ( inch) piece ginger, roughly sliced
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) batons

The Rest

  • 2 × 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) spatchcocks (poussin), butterflied
  • few drops sesame oil
  • 1 small handful of baby coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve
  • 2 cm (¾ inch) piece young ginger, cut into very thin matchsticks, to serve
  • sea salt flakes, to serve



Add all the ingredients and 150 ml (5 fl oz) water to a saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

The Rest

Using a sharp knife, remove all bones from the spatchcocks, making sure you don’t pierce or tear the skin of the birds. Once all bones are removed, carefully separate the skin from the meat, keeping the skin in one piece. Cut the meat into two breast pieces and two thigh pieces per bird.

Working 1 bird at a time, spread the skin on a chopping board; it should look slightly rectangular. Put two thigh pieces side by side in the middle of the skin, topped with the two breast pieces, laying them side by side and almost interlocking, so there are no gaps.

Carefully fold the sides of the skin in and then roll the whole piece up into a neat cigar shape, just like rolling a rice paper roll.

Spread two large pieces of plastic wrap on the bench, one on top of the other. Put the spatchcock to one end and roll the bundle up tightly to make a neat cigar shape. Tie a knot at each end with kitchen string – it should look like a tight cylinder.

Because you’re going to poach the parcel, it’s really important to make sure you get this step right. Repeat with the second spatchcock.

Lower the spatchcock parcels into a saucepan of water simmering at 64°C (147°F) and poach for 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool. Once that’s done, remove the parcels from the water and cut off about 5 mm (¼ inch) from the end of each. Unwrap the ballotines from the plastic wrap and immerse in the marinating liquid. Refrigerate for 1–2 days.

Slice the ballotines into 1 cm (½ inch) rounds and arrange them on a plate with a few tablespoons of the marinade, a few drops of sesame oil, some baby coriander, the ginger and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes.