Cantonese White Cut Chicken with Ginger-Scallion Sauce

This boiled bird is anything but bland.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    35 minutes


By Peter Som

Published on February 21, 2023

This comforting white cut chicken recipe comes from my Chinese grandmother’s spiral-bound notebook. Save the cooking liquid for another use—I like to boil it with carrots, celery, onion, and parsley to make a flavorful broth. Any leftover chicken is wonderful over rice, in salads, or turned into tacos or chicken salad.


For the chicken:

  • 2 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp. sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 chicken (4 lb.), cut into 8 pieces, breasts left bone in

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. thinly sliced fresh red chile (optional)
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, plus more for garnish


Step 1

Make the chicken: To a large pot set over high heat, add 8 cups of water, the fennel seeds, salt, sugar, cloves, and star anise and bring to a boil. Add the chicken (covering with more water if needed to fully submerge the pieces) and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a strong simmer and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165ºF and the chicken is fully cooked, 10–12 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.

Step 2

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the ice water (discarding the aromatics) and set aside until cool, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a serving bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, ginger, salt, sesame oil, chile, and scallions.

Step 4

To serve, cut the chicken breasts off the bone into 1-inch slices. Transfer to a platter along with the remaining chicken pieces. Sprinkle with scallions and accompany with the sauce. (White cut chicken may be served cold or at room temperature.)