Posted in Recipes

A Recipe for Chrysanthemum Chicken

A dish of Chrysanthemum Chicken

You can find many a recipe for ‘Chrysanthemum Chicken’ which actually contain either Chrysanthemum greens or petals as an ingredient, but our recipe here today differs from all of these and uses ‘Chrysanthemum’ only in the name.

In one of my oldest Chinese cookery books (long lost now, and long out of print), there is a recipe for ‘Chrysanthemum Chicken’ which supposedly was given the name simply because the finished dish resembles a large Chrysanthemum head. Personally, I think any supposed likeness involves a fair degree of poetic license, but the recipe in that old book produced a very nice result and I have re-created here as best I could from memory…


The Ingredients

  • 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;

The Method

Cutting chicken thighs into suitable sizes for Chrysanthemum Chicken

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

Slicing onions into the Chrysanthemum 'petals'

Slice the onion in half vertically and them slice each half crosswise into ¼ inch sections, breaking these apart into separate ‘petals’.

Deep-frying 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.

Sauteeing onions the in sauce ingredients

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.

The final assembly of chicken, onion and sauce.

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

A final note …

If you are interested in seeing the original recipe which inspired this post, the book in which it 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. The price varies from time to time, but there are good deals to be had…

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