Chicken & Egg

good eats on a rainy day

It’s hard not to love a dish made up of rice, chicken and eggs. Growing up I ate a lot of bowls of rice topped with chicken or eggs, but never really together, until I had oyako-don. Oyako-don means parent and child, which is fitting if you think about how you’re eating a hen and it’s egg. Traditional oyako-don is a delicious saucy mess of chicken and onions stewed in dashi, mirin and soy sauce. Lightly beaten eggs are added to the mix until barely cooked and the whole thing is put on top of a steaming bowl of rice. The saucy eggs mixed into white rice is divine.

chicken & egg

Chang’s Chicken and Egg was inspired by oyako-don, but is nothing like traditional oyako-dons you find in most Japanese restaurants. The chicken is cold-smoked for understated smokiness, onions are eliminated, and eggs are slow-poached.

de-boning chicken drumsticks

Compared to regular oyako-dons, Momofuku’s chicken and egg is a long process. Again, like many of his recipes, when you have everything prepared in advance, cooking time is not long, but the preparation is what kills you.

chicken in salt-sugar brine

The recipe calls for boneless legs but I substituted drumsticks, just because my local grocery store didn’t have whole legs at the time. I deboned the drumsticks, which I actually like doing. My mom taught me how to debone chicken when I was pretty young. I wanted to have a Japanese themed birthday party with homemade teriyaki chicken and of course she didn’t want to spend the extra money on deboned chicken. Deboning 10+ pounds of chicken gave me a lot of practice so now I’m pretty fast at it.

chicken and bacon in pork fat

After deboning, the chicken is cold-smoked, or if you don’t have a kettle grill (who does?) you can confit the chicken legs in pork fat with bacon in a 180˚F oven.

chicken in pork fat after its chilled completely

After 50 minutes in oven, the chicken is removed and completely cooled until the fat becomes solid again. I always wonder though, if pork fat solidifies so easily, what happens when we eat it? Does it solidify in our veins?! Sometimes, curiosity is not a good thing. Anyway, once your chicken is completely cool you can leave it in the fridge for up to a week.

chicken after being confited in pork fat

When you’re ready to eat and you’ve had the foresight to have your chicken and slow-poached eggs waiting for you in the fridge, the dish is really easy to put together. Start off by making some rice. I don’t know about yours, but my rice cooker takes about 45 minutes to cook rice. On top of that I recently bought a bag of koshihikari rice which needed to soak in water for 30 minutes before cooking.

koshihikari rice

Needless to say, even with my planning ahead, we still had a long wait ahead of us. While the rice cooker was doing it’s thing I made some quick-pickled cucumbers. Then I pan-fried the chicken skin side down in a cast-iron skillet using another cast-iron skillet to weigh it down.

pan-fried chicken being weighed down by another cast-iron skillet

When the rice was cooked, the eggs warmed under hot tap water, the chicken pan-fried, the green onions sliced and the cucumbers quick-pickled it was easy to toss everything into a bowl. And what a bowl it was! Perfect eats on a rainy day. Smoky, crisp-skinned chicken, crunchy cucumbers, poached egg broken into sticky short grain rice all came together into a glorious mess of flavours. This is comfort food at its best: simple, satisfying, warm-your-soul deliciousness.

chicken, quick-pickled cucumbers, rice, slow-poached egg, green onions

oh-so-juicy chicken

chicken & egg

38 Comments add yours

  1. Great take on a traditional Japanese dish. Thanks!

    Thanks Ed, it was a nice twist on tradition…

    steph on January 27th, 2010 at 2:54 pm
  2. Oh my gosh, this looks amazing. Deboning the legs is making me a little nervous, though…

    Hi Jessica,
    Deboning for the first time can be nerve-wracking…Thankfully they sell skin-on deboned thighs at the grocery store!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 12:05 pm
  3. Hi, I want to try this out. I’m a noob, how do you get the pork fat – liquid part? Thanks, Len from Vancouver

    Hi Len,
    I got my pork fat after roasting pork belly and shoulder, but you can bake the chicken in grapeseed oil (available in big containers at Costco) instead of pork fat. You can also bake it in duck fat, which is available at Oyama Sausage at the Granville Island Public Market. Whichever fat you use, don’t forget to tuck some bacon in! Oh, and if you do end up buying the duck fat, don’t throw it out, it stays good for months in the fridge!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 12:17 pm
  4. I had just wanted to say I love your site quite a bit of information here I will be reading for days!

    Hey Branden,
    Thanks the kind words!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  5. hi Steph – I love the idea of your blog, and it looks fantastic. I recently got the Momofuku book and don’t know where to start! How do you decide which recipes to make?

    Hi BJ,
    You’re going to find this hilarious, but I basically set out to cook the book front to back. Now that I’m a few recipes in however, I’m not really sure this is the practical way to go! Anyway, I started with the ramen just because I love ramen so much. If you want to go with something that isn’t too time consuming, I’d say try out the roasted rice cakes; just substitute some chicken or beef broth for the ramen broth required. Thanks for dropping by!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 5:46 pm
  6. Hi Steph,
    Found grapeseed oil at SaveOn, Oyama was packed with customers at 2pm and I was a bit intimidated. Did you actually use 5 cups of pork fat as the recipe requires or did you mix it with something else. I bought 500ml of grapeseed oil and just calculated will need 600ml more to get to 5 cups.

    Hi Len,
    Just put your boneless chicken into your smallest oven proof pot/dutch oven/casserole dish with a lid and cover the chicken with the grapeseed oil. I didn’t use 5 cups of fat, you just need to make sure that the meat is submerged. Hope that helps!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
  7. Awesome site! Your Momofuku creations look a lot more photogenic than mine. Btw, I loved your bacon waffle idea from the ramen broth recipe. :)

    Hey Noodlefever,
    The bacon waffle was awesome, you should try it!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 10:14 pm
  8. This is one of the recipes I’m extra looking forward to trying and you’ve done an amazing job with it! (I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to cook more recipes, although I had a quick whip up of the ginger scallion noodles last night and today refried them with a crispy egg, so good).

    And thanks for adding me to your blog roll! x

    Hi Julia,
    Looking forward to seeing more on!

    steph on February 2nd, 2010 at 2:32 pm
  9. I LOVE this blog. I live nowhere near NYC and am a broke college student who can’t run out an buy the Momofuku cookbook, so this blog is a godsend.
    I do have one question- how do you debone your chicken legs so cleanly?

    I don’t live anywhere near NYC either! We can be jealous of New Yorkers together! I’ll put up a tutorial on how I debone chicken drumsticks just for you (as soon as I get some drumsticks that is!)

    steph on February 3rd, 2010 at 6:50 pm
  10. mouth-watering! .-). Thx for the share

    Thank you! I loved this dish; it was one of my favourites!

    steph on February 20th, 2010 at 10:57 pm
  11. Utterly delicious, just the thing we would need for a get together that’s coming up.

    Thanks! There’s something so comforting about a chicken and egg rice bowl. Let me know if everyone likes it!

    steph on February 24th, 2010 at 12:21 pm
  12. You know, this was one of the first dishes I made from the Momofuku book and I still keep going back to it again and again! I just love it – it’s a pity that it takes forever to poach the eggs!

    It is a pity! I wish the whole process could go faster. I think I’m going to have to keep a stash of “cold smoked” chicken and slow-poached eggs in my fridge. Hopefully I don’t mistaken the raw for slow-poached!

    steph on March 1st, 2010 at 2:57 pm
  13. I saw Momofuku on TIME magazine and David Chang is consider as 100 most influential people on earth today…cool. I hope you will be one of them in the future. Keep up the delicious job.

    Hahaha, unlikely, but thanks! I took at look at that issue of TIME, it was a good read.

    steph on May 14th, 2010 at 10:31 am
  14. Yours looks so beautiful! I’m totally awed. Not just by this post, but by your whole blog.
    I tried this dish too, and it was delicious, but yours is prettier =)

    I gave you a little shout-out in my post by the way.

    Keep at it you’re doing amazing!

    Thanks for the shout-out!

    I absolutely love the chicken & egg dish. It’s still one of my favourites.

    steph on June 16th, 2010 at 12:25 pm
  15. Making this tonight, thanks for the breakdown! Your photos are fantastic and I love a second take on this recipes as I get a bit overwhelmed by the cookbook.
    Great work*

  16. After poaching the chicken in oil for 50 minutes in fat or oil, is the chicken cooked or is it still raw? 180F seems to be a very low temperature.


    Did I ask a dumb question or something? What kind of reply is that?

    Ycf on January 8th, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    assy on January 7th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    No it’s not raw. If you bring the internal temperature of chicken past 120 degrees, it’s no longer raw but that does not mean it’s safe. Generally 140 degrees (held for at ~30 minutes) and up “should” be ok but USDA recommends 165 degrees. Safety for between 140 and 165 degrees can be determined by freshness and quality of the chicken and how long the internal temperature is held at. This recipe’s method of cooking is basically a “confit” of chicken which cooks the chicken in rendered fat for about an hour. The temperature is low but the cook time is pretty long (slow and low). The result will be a medium cooked chicken which will be safe to eat due to the long cooking time.

    Michael on February 10th, 2011 at 11:53 am
  17. Finally got around to making this dish (over a year!) and had some suggestions for those who find this blog. First, you can use lard (rendered pork fat) which is sold at most big chain grocery stores (check either near the cooking oils section or even the hispanic section). The main brand is by “Armour” ( This will be way more economical than expensive grape seed oil. For those who want to cold smoke, I used a polyscience smoking gun (williams sonoma) and just smoked it 2 or 3 times with some hickory and once before service.

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