Drunken Chicken Soup

Active Time: 30 MINTotal Time2 HR
Yield: Serves : 6

Cooking with wine is an awesome thing. It adds balance, depth of flavor, and accents the aroma of food. But popping open an entire bottle of wine for one recipe often leaves you with just a glass or two to pour—certainly not enough to last through dinner! So you open another bottle, and unless you drink that entire bottle, you’re back to where you started. This makes me wonder: Is using an entire bottle in one recipe—even in beef bourguignon—downright ridiculous? To prove that it’s not, Justin Chapple developed this Mad Genius recipe for whole-bottle cooking. Inspired by Chinese drunken chicken, his drunken chicken soup is packed with an entire bottle of Shaoxing wine. Shaoxing wine is fermented from rice. It is commonly sold as a cooking wine, and those are loaded with salt. For this soup, use one made for drinking—it will yield a more balanced broth.


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (not cooking wine)
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (about 3/4 cup) (from 1 [7 1/2-inch] piece)

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 whole scallions
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 pound kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Ground Szechuan peppercorns, for serving (optional)

How to Make It

Step 1    

Stir together 8 cups water, wine, ginger, sugar, whole scallions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven. Remove giblets from chicken; reserve for another use, if desired. Add chicken to Dutch oven, and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, skimming foam from surface of soup occasionally.

Step 2    

Transfer chicken to a work surface; let cool slightly. Remove and discard ginger and whole scallions from broth, and add kohlrabi and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium-low until kohlrabi is tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 3    

Meanwhile, remove and discard skin from chicken; pull meat off bones. Discard bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces.

Step 4    

Stir shredded chicken, bok choy, and sesame oil into soup. Cover and cook until chicken is heated through and bok choy is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in sliced scallions and remaining 2 tablespoons salt. Ladle soup into bowls, and serve with ground Szechuan peppercorns, if using.

Suggested Pairing

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