One-Pot Crystal Chicken with Ginger and Chilli oil

This One-Pot Crystal Chicken is essentially a whole poached chicken and, let’s face it, that will never win any beauty prizes! The skin goes pale and flabby compared to the golden crispiness you get from roasting. But unlike roasting, the meat stays incredibly moist, more moist that I have ever achieved with a roast, and the broth imparts loads flavour too. The broth that you can use the next day to make Hot and Sour Prawn and Sweetcorn Soup, or a risotto.

Crystal Chicken is a favourite in South China and is meant to be served sliced and cool or slightly warm, making this a perfect meal to make ahead of time. I’m not sure how much I agree with the “One-Pot” in the title though. Sure, you use one pot to make the chicken and in the magazine, the ginger and chilli oil was a separate recipe but served with it but in the Crystal Chicken recipe in the magazine and below, it says to serve with cooked rice! They just slipped it in as if cooked rice was just another ingredient and you wouldn’t need a pot for it. Small complaint admittedly. Especially for a dish that is healthy, delicious, easy to follow and you have tomorrows lunch half made already!

One-Pot Crystal Chicken with Ginger and Chilli oil


  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.5 Kg
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 3 thumb sized pieces of ginger
  • 1 small pack of coriander
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 star anise
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 200ml Chinese rice wine, dry sherry or dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • cooked rice
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Take 2 pieces of ginger, peel them and thinly slice them. Set them aside in a bowl until cooking.
  2. Separate the green parts of the spring onions from the white parts. Set the white parts aside for the ginger chilli oil. Chop up the green parts and set them aside with the ginger.
  3. Cut the stalks off the coriander and add them to the ginger and green spring onions.
  4. Add the garlic and star anise to the bowl.
  5. Place the chicken in a stockpot or casserole and add the ginger, green spring onions, coriander stalks, garlic and star anise.
  6. Add the stock, wine and 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Cover the chicken with water and bring to the boil.
  7. Once boiling, turn the heat down so the chicken will simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on.
  8. After 30 minute, turn the heat off and allow the chicken to cool down in the broth for an hour.
  9. In the meantime, make the ginger and chilli oil by finely chopping the remaining, peeled piece of ginger, the red chilli and the white parts of the spring onions and transfer them to a heatproof bowl.
  10. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until smoking and pour it over the ginger, chilli and spring onion and stir with a fork. This can be done a day in advance.
  11. Once the chicken has cooled for at least an hour, lift it out and carve it into portions. Pour the remaining soy sauce over it and serve with the ginger and chilli oil and the cooked rice. Spoon a little of the broth over the rice and scatter the plates with the coriander leaves from earlier.
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