White-Cooked Chicken with Rice and Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

by Dec 15, 2023

White-cooked chicken is a Cantonese recipe that gets its name from the fact that there’s no soy sauce in the poaching liquid, so the chicken remains white. The time required is about the same as roasting a chicken (1 hour), but because half of the time is spent off heat allowing the hot broth to gently cook the meat, it’s an easier and cleaner cook. This dish, adapted from Milk Street magazine’s Fall 2016 charter issue, can be served warm or room temperature with rice (use some of the poaching liquid for cooking), any variety of greens and a ginger-soy dipping sauce/dressing.

White Cooked Chicken with Rice and Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

adapted from Milk Street, charter issue Fall 2016


  • 1 3 pound whole chicken remove giblets and liver, if included

Poaching Broth

  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves reserved
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • quarts water (18 cups)
  • ½ cup sake
  • ½ cup mirin
  • 4-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced lengthwise into ¼ -inch planks, each bruised with back of knife
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Serving Accompaniments

  • cooked rice (see note)
  • ginger-soy dipping sauce (see note)
  • reserved cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1 lime, quartered


Poaching Broth

  1. Remove chicken from refrigerator, unwrap, and let sit at room temperature while making the broth.

  2. Chop the cilantro bunch in half crosswise, separating the leaves from the stems. Reserve the leaves for serving time and tie the stems and scallions into a bundle with with kitchen twine.  

  3. In large pot (at least 8 quarts), combine the remaining broth ingredients and add the cilantro-scallion bundle. Bring to boil over high heat.

  4. Lower the chicken into the broth breast side up and allow the liquid flow into the cavity. If the chicken isn't fully submerged, weigh it down with a plate.  Return broth to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken breast side down after 15 minutes.  

  5. After the 25 minutes of cooking time (previous step), turn off the heat, remove the pot from the burner, cover and let the chicken rest in the broth for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a carving board and let rest 15 minutes. Save the broth.


  1. While the chicken rests, prepare a batch of ginger-soy dressing (see link or notes).

  2. Cook rice using poaching broth 1:1 for any water called for in your recipe or rice cooker.  

  3. Cut chicken:  start by removing the legs, separating the drumstick from thigh, then remove the breasts and slice into ½-inch pieces across the grain.

  4. For serving, assemble a rice bowl with the chicken, cilantro leaves, sliced green onions, a wedge of lime, ginger-soy dipping sauce, and a chile paste.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Save remaining broth for use in future soups, sauces, braises or rice; freeze in 2-cup portions so it's easy to use.
  • Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce from RIPE (3 T neutral oil like avocado, peanut, canola + 3 T soy sauce/tamari + 2-inch piece ginger, grated + 1 T rice vinegar, unseasoned + 1 T toasted sesame oil + ½  teaspoon honey or sugar (optional))
  • Cook rice in rice cooker or on stovetop. Use the poaching broth if it has finished it's job with the chicken, otherwise use water. For stovetop: use 1½  cups rinsed long grain white rice (jasmine is nice): 2 cups poaching broth/water. Bring to simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is fluffy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep the lid on, and let rest at least 5 minutes or until you're ready to serve.

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