I make this almost weekly and it is literally greeted at the table with cheers by my kids. I’m not surprised…I loved it eating my mom’s version as a child with noodles. It is true homey comfort food, not at all fancy. Though I sometimes grow weary of making it, I do love its convenience. The basic elements are the soy, wine, and sugar. From there you can add or subtract ingredients depending on your taste or what you have on hand. I can get this and a pot of rice on the table in 30 minutes after work but the version I’ve written up here is best made the day before. After sitting overnight, the chicken gets more flavorful, the eggs become more deeply stained with soy, and I can also easily skim off the fat before heating it up. My version has a big dose of tomato, which gives the sauce some body and just a hint of tang to counter the sweetness. I wanted to write it down so that my kids will be able to have a taste of home when they someday cook their own meals. I’d be very happy to be remembered for this every time they do. - monkeymom —monkeymom
Test Kitchen Notes
This is the epitome of an easy week night meal; from start to finish you can be done in under an hour. The soy, tomato and wine combine to make a richly flavored sauce, just begging to be soaked up by rice or noodles. The chicken and mushrooms pick up loads of flavor, and the hard boiled eggs are an unexpected treat. We had this for supper two nights in a row—it is even tastier the second day. - hardlikearmour
- Serves 6
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 slices ginger
2 lbs chicken thighs (on the bone. I take off the skin from at least half of the thighs. The skin adds flavor but too much fat. Adjust skin amount to suit your taste).
½ cup wine (we use rice wine but sherry, sake, or even a sweet white wine will work)
1 cup diced tomatoes (or 3 fresh tomatoes or 3 Tbsp tomato paste)
½ cup soy sauce (we use Kikkoman light)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (dried or fresh)
dried red chili peppers (optional)
- Put eggs in a pot and cover with water. Place on stove on high heat and bring to boil. Boil 10 minutes then drain hot water and rinse eggs and cover with cold water. Crack eggs under the cold water, then peel and set aside. Please don’t curse me if the shells stick…ugly eggs still taste good.
- In another large pot add garlic and ginger and place on medium high heat. Place chicken in skin side down. Let chicken brown on all sides for 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to get very dark, you just want a bit of browning for flavor. Also, make sure you don’t let the garlic burn.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pot for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, soy, sugar, mushrooms, and peppers if you are using them. Add ½ cup of water and gently stir to mix the ingredients. Let it come to boil.
- At this point, taste the sauce. You must adjust it to suit your taste by adding either soy, sugar, or water. You may also need to add a bit more water to just barely cover the chicken and eggs.
- Add eggs and turn heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Don't cook too long or the chicken will get stringy.
- You can serve now (skim excess fat) with plenty of rice. Or turn off the heat and let it cool. Refrigerate overnight and skim off fat from the surface. To serve, bring to a boil to warm chicken and eggs thoroughly.
- Note: You can dilute the sauce to your taste. If you serve with noodles you’ll probably want to dilute the sauce with some water or chicken stock. You can also throw in some big handfuls of spinach, cover until it is wilted, then serve with rice.