Chrysanthemum Chicken – 菊花燉鸡

Chrysanthemum Chicken - 菊花燉鸡

Chrysanthemum Chicken, or 菊花燉鸡, features Chicken thigh pieces braised with thinly sliced onion in a flavorful sauce enhanced with Rice Wine.

Almost every recipe for Chrysanthemum Chicken you will ever come across derives its name from the fact the Chrysanthemum petals, or greens, are used as an ingredient. This recipe here, however, contains no floral parts and is inspired by a dish in a very old Chinese cookery book, now out of print, whose poetic name stems from its visual likeness to a Chrysanthemum bloom. Personally, I think that the resemblance to a Chrysanthemum bloom is illusory at best, but dish is still a very nice one anyway.

The Great Book of Chinese Cooking

By the Way, the book in which the aforesaid recipe appears, and which I mentioned above, is The Great Book of Chinese Cooking by Pierre Antolini. This is a terrific book with lots of interesting recipes and picture and I must have spent hours over the years browsing through it.

Sadly, my copy became very decrepit and I abandoned during a long-distance move, but you can still find it at Amazon periodically. It is probably the sort of book that will only appeal to serious cooks and cook book collectors, but it is well worth obtaining a copy. The price varies from time to time, and sometimes you can find a good deal.

Since I do not have that book any longer, I have had to reconstruct the recipe from memory as best I could. The flavorings probably differ from the original in a few ways, but the appearance looks very much like the picture in that old cookery book as I recall it…

How to Make 菊花燉鸡

Chopping the Chicken for 菊花燉鸡

Chop each of the chicken thighs in to 4 or 6 pieces (depending on the size of the thighs);

Slicing the Onion

Slice the onion in half vertically and them slice each half crosswise into ¼ inch sections, breaking these apart into separate semi-circular strands.

Deep-frying the Chicken Pieces

Deep fry the chicken pieces in medium hot oil until just cooked through and beginning to brown on the outside. Set the pieces aside and keep warm.

Cooking the Onions and Sauce

Heat a few tablespoons of the deep-fry oil in a pan over high heat and add the onion. Stir and toss for a moment or so and then add the remaining ingredients except the chicken. Cook until the sauce is reduced and the onions are softened and caramelized.

Finishing the Chrysanthemum Chicken - 菊花燉鸡

Finally, add the chicken until all is heated through and the remaining sauce is little more than a glaze. Plate and serve immediately.

Your Recipe Card for 菊花燉鸡 :

菊花燉鸡 – Chrysanthemum Chicken

Chrysanthemum Chicken, or 菊花燉鸡, features Chicken thigh pieces braised with thinly sliced onion in a flavorful sauce enhanced with Rice Wine.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chicken, Onion, Rice Wine, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce
Servings: 4 as one dish in a Chinese meal
Author: John Thompson


  • 4 Chicken thighs bone-in, skin-on;
  • 1 medium Onion;
  • ½ cup Chicken stock;
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar;
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine;
  • 3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce;
  • ½ tsp. Sesame Oil;


  • Cut each of the Chicken thighs into 4 to 6 pieces.
  • Slice the Onion into very thin, semi-circular strands.
  • Quickly deep-fry the Chicken pieces until just beginning to brown, then drain and set aside.
  • Stir-fry the Onion in a little oil over moderate heat for a minute or so, then add the remaining ingredients except the Chicken.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Onion is softened and caramelized and the sauce has reduced.
  • Add the Chicken, cook a little longer until the sauce is no more than a glaze, and serve immediately.


Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!