Hong Shao Ji Tui (Red-Braised Chicken Legs)

Soy sauce and rice wine liven up drumsticks in this succulent Chinese main.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    1 hour 20 minutes


By Gary Yeung

Published on May 10, 2024

Gary Yeung, a Boston native and a firefighter at the city’s Engine 10 firehouse, often applies the Chinese red-braising technique—a slow cooking method in which seasonings like soy sauce, sugar, and Shaoxing wine impart a reddish-brown color—to chicken legs when whipping up dinner for his team. Since firefighters regularly work 24-hour shifts, cooking and eating together is a nightly routine, and Yeung’s succulent red-braised chicken drumsticks recipe is always a crowd-pleaser among his crew.

Featured in “Around the Table with Boston’s Bravest” by Megan Zhang in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue.

Order the SAVEUR Selects Nitri-Black Carbon Steel 14-Inch Wok here.


  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 4 lb. chicken drumsticks
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
  • One 2-in. piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch


Step 1

In a large bowl, stir together the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, and white pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Step 2

Place a large wok over high heat. When it starts to smoke slightly, turn the heat to low, add the oil, and swirl to evenly coat. Add the garlic, three-quarters of the scallions, and the ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the chicken in a single layer (reserve the marinade), and cook, undisturbed, until the chicken is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until lightly browned on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Turn the heat to medium, stir in the reserved marinade, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Turn the heat to high, add the cornstarch slurry to the wok, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining scallion, then transfer to a platter and serve warm.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.