Main Courses

Poached Chicken (白切雞)

Poached Chicken (白切雞)

白切雞, or Poached Chicken, is a classic Cantonese dish revered for its simplicity, tenderness, and the purity of its flavors. Traditionally served with a flavorful dipping sauce, this dish highlights the chicken's natural taste. It's often enjoyed during celebrations or family gatherings but is simple enough to prepare for a regular meal. Here’s how to make it at home.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese


For the Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken about 1.5kg, preferably free-range or organic
  • Enough water to cover the chicken
  • 2-3 slices of ginger
  • 2 scallions cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Optional: minced garlic chili sauce, or oyster sauce for added flavors


Prepare the Chicken:

  • Clean the chicken thoroughly and remove any excess fat. Pat dry with paper towels.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Fill a pot large enough to hold the chicken with water. Add the ginger slices, scallions, and salt, then bring to a boil.
  • Carefully lower the chicken into the pot, breast side up. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Cover and gently simmer for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Occasionally skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Check Doneness:

  • The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 75°C (165°F) or when the juices run clear after poking the thigh with a skewer.

Cool the Chicken:

  • Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and immerse it in ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking process and tighten the skin. This step is essential for achieving the signature tender yet firm texture. After cooling, drain and pat the chicken dry.

Cut the Chicken:

  • Chop the chicken into pieces, traditionally through the bones, but you can debone it first if preferred.

Prepare the Dipping Sauce:

  • Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped green onions, and grated ginger in a bowl. Adjust the ingredients according to taste and add any optional ingredients as desired.


  • Arrange the chicken pieces on a plate. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

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