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Alvin's Drunken Chicken

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

I was hooked on MasterChef Australia season 2 when it was shown on Watch tv in the UK a few months back. I was a bit upset when I had to go back to Malaysia to renew my visa in November last year because that meant I would have to miss the finale. Luckily, all the yummy food back home made up for it. When I got back, I watched all the recorded episodes in 3 days.

Apart from the usual elimination tests, they have a weekly Masterclass whereby resident judges Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris give the contestants lessons on mistakes that the contestants have made previously. In the last Masterclass, the top 24 contestants were invited back into the MasterChef kitchen and Gary and George recreated their favourite dishes from the competition with the contestants, which included Alvin's dish, "Drunken and Bruised Bruised Cucumber Salad" and Fiona's "Chocolate Ganache Tart with Lavender Cream and Fresh Raspberries".

Alvin's Drunken Chicken

Alvin's drunken chicken dish was really intriguing, the idea was pretty simple but it looked and sounded amazing. The recipe involves poaching one whole chicken in Shaoxing, mirin, water, palm sugar and ginger - that's it. I used chicken legs instead of one whole chicken. Tweaked the amount of ingredients a bit but maintained a 2:1 Shaoxing to mirin ratio. I added a bit of salt to balance the sweetness of the dish. Added goji berries to make the dish look pretty. It's really simple yet so flavourful. It's even better if you serve the chicken the next day. The chicken was extremely tender and the meat was so tasty after soaking in the poaching liquid overnight. I was really happy with the dish and the wild boar gave it a thumbs up!

Alvin's Drunken Chicken 2

Alvin's Drunken Chicken

Adapted from Alvin's Drunken Chicken recipe from Masterchef
By Pig Pig's Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hr


  • 8 whole chicken legs
  • 2 1/2 cups Shaoxing wine
  • 1 1/4 cup mirin
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 60 g gula melaka (Malaysian palm sugar)
  • 40 g ginger - sliced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup goji berries

  • Place the Shaoxing, mirin, water, palm sugar and ginger in a large pot and bring to the boil.
  • Add the chicken, then cover and simmer very gently (liquid barely bubbling) for about 1 hr. Add in goji berries at the last 10 mins of simmering.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and allow the chicken to cool in the poaching liquid.
  • Serve chicken with poaching liquid. [You will end up with lots of poaching liquid, so freeze them for future use.]

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