Chinese drunken chicken is a delicate appetizer, common among Shanghai cuisine, that is eaten cold and consists of tender chicken meat that has been poached and then marinated in Shaoxing rice wine in the fridge. That is where the drunken part comes from, chicken being infused with some sort of alcohol to amp up the flavors.
Stock that is created by boiling chicken legs is packed with concentrated gelatin. It is then mixed with the wine and once cooled in the fridge it solidifies into a delicate aspic.
Chicken pieces come out of the fridge surrounded with jello like aspic that is the best part. It literally melts in your mouth instantly hugging the chicken with the delicious moisture. The aspics is flavored with chicken and wine and serves like a basting system once combined with chicken meat in your mouth.
Shaoxing wine is another defining feature of this dish. It enriches the flavor of the subtle chicken meat becoming the true essence of the dish together with flavorful aspic.