Deeply nourishing and incredibly satisfying, this is food for the soul. Silky poached chicken is served with fragrant, ginger-infused rice and a trio of dipping sauces. Don't be daunted by the long ingredients list, this recipe is far simpler to put together than it initially looks.


Prep time 30 minutes
Cook 40 minutes (plus steeping)


  • 1.6kg whole chicken
  • 4 spring onions, knotted together
  • 5cm piece of fresh ginger, bruised and thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2½ tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
  • 70ml light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Lebanese cucumber, sliced, to serve
  • Coriander sprigs, to serve

Chicken rice:

  • 50g reserved chicken fat
  • Vegetable or grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 4 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g (2 cups) jasmine rice
  • 700ml chicken poaching broth
  • 1 pandan leaf, tied in a knot (optional)

Chilli sauce:

  • 70ml white vinegar
  • 4–5 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Spring onion sauce:

  • 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Soy dressing:

  • 2½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 100ml reserved chicken broth

1. Remove excess fat surrounding the chicken cavity and set aside for the rice. Stuff the chicken cavity with the spring onion, ginger and garlic and secure the opening with a skewer.

2. Place the chicken breast-side down in a stockpot large enough to hold it quite snugly and cover with cold water. Add the Shaoxing rice wine, 55ml of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil and the salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat so the surface of the water is barely moving and a steady stream of bubbles breaks the surface. Cover and poach gently for 8-10 minutes, skimming off any scum. Turn off the heat, cover and leave in the pot for 40–45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Transfer the chicken to a plate. (Reserve the poaching liquid for the chicken rice and keep warm.) Combine the remaining soy sauce and remaining sesame oil in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the chicken and set aside.

4. To make the chicken rice, heat the chicken fat with a splash of oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. When the chicken fat has rendered, discard the solids. Add the shallots and sauté for 4–5 minutes until fragrant and golden, adding the ginger and garlic in the final minute of cooking. Stir in the rice to coat and lightly toast, then add the chicken poaching broth, the pandan leaf, if using, and stir to combine.

5. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover with a tightly fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes without uncovering, until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, leave the lid on for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.

6. Meanwhile, to make the chilli sauce, process the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and season with salt.

7. To make spring onion sauce, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium–high heat, add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Add the spring onion and sesame oil, remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

8. To make soy dressing, stir the ingredients together in a bowl.

9. To serve, bring 2 litres (8 cups) of the remaining poaching liquid back to the boil and season with salt and pepper. Cut the chicken, Chinese-style, through the bone into bite-sized pieces using a cleaver or large sharp knife and arrange on a plate. Spoon the soy dressing over and serve with chicken rice, cucumber, coriander, chilli sauce, spring onion sauce and individual bowls of the poaching liquid.