White Cut Chicken

As long as a can remember I have loved Chinese whole cooked chicken dishes, these include soy chicken, white cut and roast chicken among others. One of the best things about this chicken dish is the texture of the chicken, silky smooth with tender but firm meat. This is a simple dish to prepare but results in the most superb and versatile meal.

4-6 Portions
Prep: 10 minutes


White Cut Chicken

  • 1 x 1.6-1.8kg corn fed or free range chicken, rinsed, excess fat removed and dried
  • 3 litres of water
  • 250ml shoahsing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 5 star anise
  • 2 garlic cloves, bruised slightly
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and crushed slightly

Ginger and Spring Onion Sauce

  • 50ml peanut oil
  • 3 spring onions white part, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15ml shaohsing wine
  • 15ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. maldon sea salt
  • 2 tbs. caster sugar

To Serve

  • handful of spring onion flowers, to garnish (see below)
  • boiled rice
  • steamed Chinese greens (see recipe)


  1. White Cut Chicken: Pour the water in a large pan that the chicken will fit in (a casserole or pot roasting pan work well). Add the shaohsing wine, salt, star anise and garlic to the pan and bring it to the boil.
  2. Place the chicken in the water and return it to a boil, skim off any scum that rises to the top. When the water is at a strong boil cover the pan with a lid and remove it from the heat. Leave the chicken to stand for 2 hours, do not remove the lid during this time or you will release the heat.
  3. Return the chicken to a moderate high heat 10-15 minutes before serving (if serving hot), bring the water to a boil then reduce to a steady simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and drain it well. Slice the chicken Chinese style (see below) or leave it whole. Place the chicken on a serving plate garnished with the spring onion flowers. * If you wish to serve the chicken cold remove the chicken from the water after 2 hours and plunge it into a bowl of iced water, then drain and refrigerate it the chicken until ready to serve.
  4. Ginger and Spring Onion Dressing: Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and grind the ingredients until well combined or process briefly in a food processor. Leave the sauce for at least 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Store the sauce in a well sealed jar.
  5. To Serve: Serve the chicken with the Ginger and Spring Onion Sauce, boiled rice and steamed Chinese Greens.
Chinese Cut Chicken:
  1. Cut the wings from the chicken.
  2. Carefully remove the legs from the chicken.
  3. Slice the legs into two so as to separate the drumstick and thigh. Cut the thigh and drumstick into two.
  4. Slice the carcass along the centre lengthwise through the cavity so that the breast and back bone are separate.
  5. Remove the breastbone with a sharp knife from the meat (leaving the meat in one whole piece).
  6. Slice the breast meat into 2-3cm pieces width wise.
  7. Remove the backbone from the back with a knife or poultry scissors.
  8. Slice the back into 2-3cm pieces width wise.
  9. Reassemble the chicken on serving plate. Placing the back bone on the base of the plate with the breast pieces on top.
Spring Onion Flowers:
  1. Cut spring onion into 5cm pieces and cut the pieces lengthwise 4-6 times leaving them joined at the bottom. Place the spring onion into iced water and place them in the fridge. Leave the spring onion flowers for at least 15 minutes until they curl into flowers. Drain the spring onions thoroughly before serving.
  • White Cut Chicken is delicious served cold in salads and sandwiches.