Top | Main Dishes

Red-Cooked Chinese Chicken

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)


Glenn Andrews recommends making Red-Cooked Chinese Chicken at those times “when you crave Chinese food \[and] you don’t feel like going to all the effort that cooking it involves, or even like going to get it at a Chinese take-out place.” Red-cooked, she writes in her book [%bookLink code=9780689106392 "Mood Food"], means cooked in soy sauce, and “this dish has enough soy to take care of the craving for salt that might be what made you yearn for Chinese food in the first place.” I've adapted this recipe to make it not quite so salty and a bit more spicy. For a complete meal serve with rice, steamed broccoli, and a bowl of tangerines.


  1. 2 large chicken breasts or 4 small chicken thighs
  2. ½ cup soy sauce
  3. 1½ cups water
  4. 2 Tbsp. sherry
  5. 2 thin slices of fresh ginger
  6. 3 scallions, cut in 1-inch lengths
  7. 2 star anise
  8. 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  9. Red chile flakes (optional)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large skillet or wok. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, turning or basting occasionally if the sauce doesn’t cover the chicken.
  2. Serve hot or cool, with the sauce cooked down as much as you want for a more concentrated flavor.


Got a food hankering? Check out Carrie Floyd's hilarious Kitchen Limbo on cravings.