Stewed Five-Spiced Chicken 五味卤鸡

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Had wanted to prepare a whole chicken with this but there was way too much food on the day itself. Hence, I decide to make do with 2 chicken whole legs just to satisfy the craving. Had a very successful braised duck earlier from recipe here, and I thought it would be good if I could also make do the same with some chicken. Well, if you would notice from the blog, I am quite an advocator of Chinese food, in particular our SG styles of hawker, chap chai peng (mixed vegetable rice) or even zhi char stall kinda foods. I guess I came from a very typical Chinese family and grew up eating these foods which probably explains for the greater penchant for such as well.

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And stewing or braising is a very typical and common cooking style in Chinese food fare which I really adores. This is strongly due to the fact that I can never do without some kinds of sauce or gravy for my plain rice. Just like when I go for my chap chai peng, I would always ask the aunty or uncle for more braised sauce or curry gravy and I would tend to give those rice that wasn’t well covered by the gravy a miss.

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Other than the long stewing time needed for stewed or braised dishes, I can literally find no fault with such a cooking. Be it any kinds of poultry, stewing helps to tenderize the meat and allows the rich and succulent flavors to penetrate the dish in entirety. Needless to say, the importance of the stewed sauce is what makes all the difference too.

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So here I am sharing a simple stewed sauce that goes on very ideally with the chicken and if you do have leftover gravy, especially if you are going for a whole chicken, you can drain away the ingredients and retain the sauce to freeze for your next cooking. The longer the stewing or braising time, the more flavorful and richer it will be. And if you notice, although the name of the dish is 5-spice chicken, but no 5-spice powder is being used at all ! The spices flavors mainly come from the actual ingredients itself instead. 

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And also, as mentioned in an earlier blog post, all the recipes have been classified into 7 blocks of categories as you can see from the slight revamp on the blog’s main page. Yes, it’s the lucky 7 again ! LOL. For everyone’s easier reference, including myself, it is hoped that no recipe will be missed with such a sorting !! At the same time, trying to really brainstorm for more ideas on “Food Pops 串串新意” and “Desserts & Drinks 饮品甜点”. In the meantime, please bear with me as these 2 sections will probably remain stagnant for awhile !!

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Enjoy !! Grab your fresh whole chicken legs or whole chicken from PurelyFresh online to prepare this delectable dish today !  

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Stewed 5-Spice Chicken 五味卤鸡
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2
  • 2 whole chicken legs, bone in
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 gloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 shallots, cut into halves
  • 8 thick slices of ginger
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 star anise

For the Seasoning Sauce:
  • ½ tbsp light soya sauce
  • ½ tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soya sauce)
  • 30g rock sugar cubes
  • 1½ tbsp shaoxing huatiao wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 400ml water

For the Thickening Solution:
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. Clean and pat dry the whole chicken legs. Poke the chicken all over with a sharp skewer.
  2. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan and add the crushed garlics, shallots, gingers, cloves and star anise. Saute till fragrant.
  3. Add in the chicken stock and water and cook till it boils.
  4. Add in all the seasoning sauce.
  5. Add in the chicken.
  6. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour.
  7. Add in the thickening solution and mix well. Once the gravy starts to thicken, off the flame.
  8. Garnish as desired and serve hot.
Double the quantity of the seasoning sauce if using a whole chicken and braised it for additional 30 minutes or more till meat is cooked and tender.


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