Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tea Smoked Chicken (茶熏雞)

Tea Smoked Chicken (茶熏雞)
Recipe from: sunflower-recipes
Image Credit: sunflowerfoodgalore

Tea Smoked Chicken (茶熏雞)

“This smoked chicken I am doing here is how Chinese would normally do it. To ensure the chicken is full of flavor I marinated (brined) it for almost 36 hours. The chicken is steamed then followed by smoking. No oven roasting is necessary.” sunflowerfoodgalore


Whole chicken, around 1.75kg.

Marinade (brine):

150 ml shaoshing wine

50 ml light soy sauce

300 ml water

1.5 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn

2 star anise

4 - 5 peppercorns (lightly crushed)

1 thumb size ginger (no need to peel just thinly sliced)

2 stalks of spring onion (sliced)


Put the chicken in a zip lock bag, add marinade.

Seal the bag.

I used double bags just in case there is any leakage.

Keep chicken in the fridge.

Turning twice a day.

Before cooking take it out 30 - 40 minutes earlier to bring it to room temp.

Take the chicken out and remove every bit of spices.

Ready for steaming.

For the left over marinade, I boiled and strained it.

Use it for noodle soups or add to any stir fries.


I used a dish to collect any cooking juice then rest then chicken on a rack so the juice will not 
touch the chicken.

The steamed meat juice has a lovely flavor, can be used as sauce or stock.

Steaming time depends on the weight of the chicken, the chicken is not ready to eat after 
steaming, it will continue to cook while smoking.

 If you just like to steam and serve the chicken without smoking add another 10 - 12 minutes 
steaming time.

When water is boiling turn the heat to medium to steam the chicken.

Very high heat steaming the meat outside will cook rapidly and turn tough before the inside is 

For just cooked meat with a slight hint of pink keeping the chicken very moist, how the Chinese 
would like, 10 minutes/500 g weight

If you like your chicken thoroughly cooked without any pink at all, 15 minutes/500 g weight

When the chicken is done take it out and straight onto the smoker soon as you can.

For whole chicken make sure to drain the juice from the carcass inside, ready for smoking 


Use a wok/large old pan/steel stove top steamer, all with a lid.

I used the same steel steamer that steamed the chicken for the smoking.

Double or triple lined the dried 'smoker' with large pieces of foil.

Then make up a smoking material:

2 heap tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons rice

1 handful of Chinese tea, about 5 tablespoons (I used Ti Kuan Yin tea 鐵觀音)

Make the mixture then spread on the foil.

Put a rack on top of the smoking material, or in my case I used a steel steamer I put the rack on 
the steamer.

Put Chicken on the rack and put the lid on.

Turn the heat up to medium and soon you will see white smoke, and then turn the heat down to 

I could really smell the flavor coming out of the tea. Smoke the chicken till golden brown.

 Do make sure you take care of the smoke alarm while smoking and turn the cooker hood fan 

There shouldn't be too much heavy smoke lingering your kitchen that you may need the fire 
extinguisher anytime.

Do not leave the kitchen unattended while smoking.

Smoking time:

About 15 minutes (medium smoked)

About 20 - 25 minutes (deep rich color and flavor)

Heat off and let the smoke settles for few minutes before taking the chicken out.

The chicken has turned very deep golden brown.

Leave the chicken to cool and rest before chopping the Chinese style or carving.

Read more and enjoy this amazing recipe and many more when visiting sunflower-recipes

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