Master stock chicken with tea eggs & stir-fried silken tofu

I love these tea eggs with master stock chicken but they're also great as a little snack with a bowl of rice, some Sichuan pickled cucumber and a splash of chilli oil. The result is like an Asian antipasto.


  • 1.4kg free-range chicken
  • Steamed rice, coriander and Asian greens, to serve

  • For the eggs
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 3 tbsp loose black tea
  • 2 sticks cassia bark
  • 3 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • For the master stock
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • 225g rock sugar
  • 750ml (3 cups) shaoxing wine
  • 1½ cups light soy sauce
  • 6cm piece ginger, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly smashed
  • ½ bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 stick cassia bark


Place eggs in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and then drain and plunge into iced water. Tap the eggs gently with the back of a spoon to cover all over with small cracks. Return the eggs to the pot and cover with fresh water. Add remaining ingredients.

Simmer gently for 1 hour, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Using a paring knife, remove any white pith from the orange peel as this will impart a bitter flavour. Roughly crush the rock sugar using a mortar and pestle. Place the remaining stock ingredients in a saucepan with 5 litres water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove all visible fat from the chicken and wipe out the cavity with a paper towel. In a pot large enough to fit the chicken snugly, strain in the stock and bring to the boil. Submerge chicken, breast side down, in the stock, then bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Put a lid on the pot, remove from heat and allow chicken to cool in the stock for at least 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from the stock and chop into portions using a large cleaver. Take the eggs out of the stock, remove the shells, and serve at the table in a bowl along with the chicken, rice, coriander and steamed greens.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Turkey Flat Rosé 2015, Barossa Valley, SA.

A blend of four varieties, dominated by grenache, this is full of strawberry, cherry and herbal notes. It is the perfect foil for the Sichuan pepper and vibrant mustard greens.

First published in the Good Weekend.