• 8 Chicken fryer drumsticks
  • 4 c Cold water
  • Cornstarch for dredging
  • 1/2 c Dark soy Sauce
  • 3 c Oil for deep-frying
  • 1/2 c Rock Sugar
  • 1 c Dried chestnuts
  • 1/2 c Medium sherry
  • 1 Five-spice bouquet (OR 1 tbsp Five-spice powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  1. At least 12 hours before cooking this dish, rinse several times then soak dried chestnuts.
  2. After soaking, remove pieces of skin wedged in nutmeat.
  3. Deep-frying: In wok or similar pan, slowly heat deep-frying oil until bubbles quickly form around chopstick held vertically in oil.
  4. Meanwhile, dredge drumsticks in cornstarch; shake off excess starch.
  5. Deep- fry drumsticks 2 at a time until brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oil; and place on absorbent paper towel to absorb grease.
  7. Red-cooking: Put water in sandy pan or comparable Casserole dish;
  8. add 5- spice bouquet, soy Sauce, sherry & salt (5-spice powder can be substituted, though the final flavor will be less distinctive).
  9. Slowly bring to boil, reduce heat, cover pot & simmer 15 minutes.
  10. Remove cover; discard bouquet; add salt & rock Sugar; dissolve rock Sugar.
  11. You can stop here until near serving time.
  12. About 30 minutes before serving time, add drumsticks & soaked chestnuts to Hot red-cooked Sauce.
  13. Simmer in covered pot for 15 minutes;
  14. remove cover; simmer for another 15 minutes.
  15. Sauce should have reduced by about 1/3, and become bright & thick.
  16. To serve, prop drumsticks up around sides of sandy pot; spear chestnuts with sate sticks or long toothpicks.

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