Soy Sauce Chicken

Photograph of chicken in thick dark sauce.

This recipe is for a whole chicken, but it can just as easily be used for cut-up pieces. The sauce can be reused many times, making for very quick meals.

Prepare Sauce:

  1. To a large pot or dutch oven, heat until fragrant (about 1 minute after oil gets hot):
    • 15 mL Oil.
    • 80–100g Shallot (or onion), sliced thin.
    • 10g (2 cloves) Garlic, crushed.
    • 30g Ginger, chopped.
    • 5 pieces Star Anise.
    • ??g Cinnamon.
  2. Stir in and heat (about 30 seconds):
    • ¼ tsp White Pepper.
  3. Stir in:
    • 700 mL Pepsi® (or non-caffeinated root beer).
    • 400 mL Soy Sauce.
    • 175 mL Honey.
    • 2 Scallions, chopped and crushed.
  4. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until bubbling subsides (about 15 minutes.

Prepare Chicken:

  1. Remove back from chicken.
  2. If required to fit it into the pot, cut through breastbone and separate.
  3. Rub skin with coarse (or kosher-style) salt, to make the surface smooth.


  1. Stir in 60 mL Chinese Rose Wine.
  2. Gently add chicken, breast side up.
  3. Return to almost boiling at medium heat, then reduce to low.
  4. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn chicken over.
  6. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and let stand, still covered, for 30 minutes.

Alternative Cooking Method (extra tender and juicy):

Rather than the two cover and simmer steps, maintain the heat at 150°–160°F for about 2½ hours. (E.g. in instant-pot on keep-warm setting.)


  1. Transfer chicken to serving platter, breast side up, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Reheat sauce to simmering.
  3. Cook until reduced and thickened (about 10–15 minutes).
  4. Add water if it gets too thick.


  1. Plate white rice.
  2. Add separated chicken.
  3. Coat very lightly with sauce (it has a very strong taste).
  4. Sides:
    • Small bowl of sauce for dipping.
    • Sliced scallions.

Alternative Serving (extra flavour):

Rather than serving right away, store pot with sauce and chicken in the refrigerator for a day or two, then reheat.

Left Overs:

Left-over chicken should be stored in the sauce (it will absorb more of the flavour).

Once the chicken is gone, there will be a lot of left-over sauce. This can be reused many times over, to cook more chicken (with even richer sauce than the first time); add extra water or cola as needed.