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How to make simple Taiwanese three-cup chicken on the stovetop

By Wendy Ruopp, April 1, 2013 - 3:51pm

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How to make simple Taiwanese three-cup chicken on the stovetop

I just have two questions about this chicken recipe: Why is it called “Three-Cup Chicken”? And can I please have it for dinner tonight? It has the Asian flavors I love: Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, fresh ginger and fresh basil. And lots of garlic: 12 cloves plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic. That’s why Kathy Gunst included it in her story “A Fresh Look at Garlic” in the March/April issue of EatingWell. (Find 25 healthy garlic recipes, including more of her new garlic recipes for garlic scape pesto and more.)

According to her, the name of this classic Taiwanese dish comes from the combination of soy sauce, rice wine and rice vinegar in equal measure (actually 3 tablespoons each in this recipe, not 3 cups—I suppose if you wanted to multiply it to serve 64 instead of making 4 servings, you’d use 3 cups of each…and an awful lot of chicken).

To make it for dinner tonight, I just have to spend a fragrant hour in the kitchen with my wok (or skillet). My reward will be a saucy, garlicky chicken dish that I’d spend a lot more for in a restaurant than the $10 I spent on ingredients. Not to mention all the health benefits of fresh garlic—read about them here.

Three-Cup Chicken
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While there are dozens of variations on this classic Taiwanese Three-Cup Chicken recipe, the “three-cup” in the title refers to the fact that this healthy chicken recipe is almost always made with equal parts soy sauce, Chinese rice wine and rice vinegar (and usually sesame oil). The sauce for Three-Cup Chicken develops a wonderfully pungent flavor from toasted Sichuan peppercorns and star anise; look for them in Asian markets or online from penzeys.com. Serve the chicken and sauce over rice.

Watch This: How to Stir-Fry Chicken

TAGS: Wendy Ruopp, Food Blog, Budget meals, Dinner, Family meals

Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.

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