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.)   

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

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