Chicken in Red Wine with Asian Spices

In a variation on the Chinese technique called "red cooking"—in which meat is simmered in sweetened soy sauce with spices—Kristin Donnelly swaps in red wine for the typical rice wine or sherry. The red wine enhances the dish's traditional ruddy color; plus, now that China is growing more wine grapes, the idea doesn't seem like such a stretch.

Plus: F&W's Chicken Cooking Guide

Slideshow:More Fast Asian Recipes

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  • Servings: 4


  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • 2 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 6 large scallions—white and light green parts cut into 2-inch lengths, dark green tops finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 dried red chile
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the five-spice powder.

  2. In a large, nonreactive saucepan, combine the wine with the scallion pieces, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and chile and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to moderately low and add the chicken. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and scallions to a plate.

  3. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about 1 cup and glossy, about 12 minutes. Return the chicken and scallions to the saucepan and stir to coat with the sauce. Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with the chopped scallion tops and sesame seeds and serve.

Suggested Pairing

This chicken dish goes well with a rich, fruity Zinfandel.

Contributed By Published September 2009

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