Cooked chicken soaked in a secret drunken sauce made with homemade hot chili oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic and brown sugar, this drunken chicken is going to knock your socks off! Pro tip: sprinkle some chopped toasted peanuts on top to add a little nutty crunchiness.

I have a thing about reserve-engineering restaurant recipes. Recipes like this, this and this get requested repeatedly in my family. Guess who does the same thing? My mother.

Inspired by a well-known Szechuan spicy chicken appetizer called Kou Shui Ji (口水鸡), my mom reverse-engineered the sauce and add a little her own twist to it. Ever since then, the drunken chicken recipe has become her signature.

“Got any chicken left? Dip it into this drunken sauce and your leftover chicken will never be boring!”


What I love the most about this recipe is that the sauce is so divine that it’ll turn any cooked chicken or leftover chicken into a mouthwatering dish. And it only calls for 5 ingredients including the hot chili oil that we use in the Mapo Tofu (vegan and non-vegan) and Spicy Chinese Noodles.

Toss some greens in the drunken chicken to make a simple and delicious chicken salad like this.

Without further ado, let’s whip it up and enjoy!

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Mom’s Signature Drunken Chicken

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main, Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Chinese
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Cooked chicken soaked in a secret drunken sauce made with homemade hot chili oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic and brown sugar.


Units Scale

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili oil (with some pepper solids if desired)
  • 2 pounds cooked chicken (leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken works as well)
  • Fresh cilantro and chopped toasted peanut (optional) for garnishing


  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Add minced garlic and hot chili oil. Feel free to scoop up some peppers from the bottom if you’d like to add some heat to the sauce. (The oil brings an amazing aroma, it’s not really spicy.) Mix the sauce well.
  2. In a large plate, arrange chicken pieces. Pour the sauce onto the chicken and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy the drunken chicken!


Got leftover turkey? You know what to do – drunk it in this drunken sauce. 🙂


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 295
  • Sugar: 3.4g
  • Sodium: 554.8mg
  • Fat: 12.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.8g
  • Protein: 38.7g
  • Cholesterol: 113.4mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.