Though this chicken is slowly steeped, just like White-Cut Chicken, the contrast between the two finished dishes is startling. Soy Sauce Chicken is cooked in sauce that is at once slightly salty from the two types of soy sauces; sweet from the sugar; spicy on account of the peppercorns, anise, and fennel seed; and mellow and winy from the rice wine.
This is a good dish to serve cold; it is even better made a day in advance because the spices continue to flavor the chicken. Chinese delicatessens and markets generally sell precooked Soy Sauce Chicken in halves, cutting up each half only on request so that the chicken remains juicy. Whenever you need only half a chicken at home, don’t cut up the other half until you are ready to serve it.