Lu Jitui (Braised Soy Sauce Chicken)

Soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, garlic and star anise give this cozy Taiwanese braised chicken tons of flavor.

Lu Jitui

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

This classic comfort dish often found in Taiwanese bento boxes features chicken legs cooked with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine. A touch of sugar balances the salty, savory soy and lends the dish a subtle sweetness, while garlic cloves, scallions, star anise and bay leaf deepen the flavor of the braising liquid. The chicken legs are braised until the meat is juicy, tender and falling off the bone. You’ll be drizzling it all over your steamed rice.

Recipe developer Tiffany Chen has been making some version of this dish for years. She loves how tender and juicy the chicken gets as it cooks in the savory braising liquid, and suggests serving it with rice and vegetables so you soak up every bit of the sauce. She recommends using the dark meat parts of the chicken — the legs, drumsticks, and thighs — instead of the breast meat. “This is because you are braising it and you don’t want the chicken to go dry,” she explains. “It’s also preferable to use chicken with the skin on, as the skin will not only help provide flavor to the broth, but it will also help protect the meat, keeping it juicy and tender.”

This dish comes together in minutes. All the ingredients go into the pot at the same time, and with a cook time under an hour, it’s a fantastic weeknight dinner. This recipe serves two people but can be easily doubled as needed.


  • 2 small (9 ounces each) chicken leg quarters

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 2 whole star anise

  • 1 medium scallion, sliced (1/3 cup)

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed

  • 3 cups cooked sticky short-grain white rice


  1. Place chicken in a medium pot or small Dutch oven. Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, garlic, star anise, scallion, and bay leaf; add water. (Chicken should be fully submerged in liquid; if not, add additional water until chicken is covered.)

  2. Bring chicken mixture to a simmer over medium-high; simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cover pot with lid, and simmer until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers at least 170°F, about 15 to 20 minutes, turning chicken halfway through cooking time.

  3. Divide rice evenly among 2 bowls, and place 1 chicken leg quarter over rice, spooning some of the braising liquid over top

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