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Television show host and cookbook author Andrew Zimmern loves this combo of poached chicken and wonton soup, both of which he tops with super-flavorful spices and aromatics. He cooks the chicken in stock, creating an extra-tasty broth that he then uses to poach the wontons AND serve as the wonton soup base. It's a smart, practical way to utilize the broth, but if you only want to make the chicken, that's totally fine!  

Here are his tips for the best results: 

1.) When poaching a chicken, to make the white meat meltingly tender, drop a washed and dried whole bird in boiling stock and cook, lowering the heat to maintain a simmer for 90 seconds, then turning off the heat. Cover and let it steep in the hot liquid. Ninety minutes later, it will be perfect.   

2.) For texturally perfect wonton filling, add steamed, cooled, squeeze-dried and very well-minced cabbage to the mixture. Mixing in some crushed ice to emulsify the fat helps, too. 

3.) Don't overfill anything. This advice extends to hand pies, empanadas, spring rolls, egg rolls, stuffed grape leaves, turkeys and especially dumplings and wontons! Underfilling is the secret to wrapped/sealed foods. 

Get all the tips from our "tip-tastic" show here and check out Andrew's show, "Wild Game Kitchen," Monday nights on the Outdoor Channel. 


For the Poached Chile Chicken:
  • 3 quarts homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • Several slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 halved cloves garlic
  • 1 dried hot Chinese or Mexican arbol chili
  • 1 whole chicken, washed and dried
  • 5 scallions
  • 1 tablespoons sliced garlic
  • Small handful of cut Chinese chilies
  • 1 tablespoon minced hot red chili
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or crushed bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon ground white peppercorns
  • ¼ cup very hot (350 to 375°F) peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (get a good one that's all natural)
  • Several teaspoons hot chile oil or chili crisp
  • Garnish: toasted sesame seeds, crushed toasted peanuts and sliced scallions
For the Wonton Soup:
  • Cornstarch, for dusting
  • Liquid from the poached chicken (above)
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 8 ounces minced or ground fresh shrimp
  • 2 ounces Napa cabbage, blanched, squeezed dry and minced (¼ cup)
  • 1/3 cup Chinese chives or garlic chives, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine or sake
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 24 to 32 Sui Gao wrappers or thin round wonton wrappers
  • Garnish: soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, minced scallions, chili crisp and carrot curls/shavings (optional)


Serves: 4 to 6


For the poached chile chicken, bring stock, sliced ginger, halved cloves garlic and the 1 hot chile pepper to a boil in a large pot. Lower the chicken into the liquid. When liquid returns to a simmer, cover and cook for 90 seconds. Turn off heat and leave chicken in the liquid for 90 minutes.  

Remove chicken from liquid and reserve liquid for the wonton soup. When chicken is cool enough to handle, hack with a cleaver and arrange meat in a wide rimmed bowl like an oversized pie plate. Or, remove meat from bones and slice the white and dark meat ¼ inch thick. 

In a separate heatproof bowl, place the sliced garlic, cut Chinese chilies, minced hot red chile, minced ginger, sugar, chicken bouillon powder and ground white peppercorns and combine. Ladle hot oil (just heat oil in a small pan for a few minutes) over the dry ingredients. Stir and immediately add the black vinegar, soy sauce and hot chile oil or chili crisp and stir. Pour sauce over the chicken and garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts and sliced scallions.   

For the wonton soup, sprinkle a large tray with a dusting of cornstarch and bring the chicken poaching liquid to a boil. 

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, shrimp, cabbage, chives, wine, salt, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well slowly. Spoon about ½ ounce of filling onto each wrapper and wet the edge. Fold the wrapper in half (to form a half moon) and seal the edge. Next, bring the ends around and seal with more water to make wonton shape. Sit the wonton with the folds standing up on the prepared tray. (The recipe makes 24 to 32 wontons.) Poach in the chicken poaching liquid until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. 

To serve, season the poaching liquid with soy sauce and ladle it and the wontons into bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds, scallions, chili crisp and carrot curls (if using).