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Home Chinese Cuisine Beggar's Chicken (叫化鸡)
Beggar's Chicken (叫化鸡)
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Beggar's ChickenSpecial cooking style, Special taste
In China, there are many dishes where the name originated from a folklore, legend, or story. Beggar’s Chicken (jiào huā jī 叫化鸡) is another dish with an interesting history.This dish of Beijing origin, Beggar's Chicken also called "jiaohua ji" in the Shanghainese dialect, and the chicken is stuffed, wrapped, and roasted in this traditional Eastern Chinese recipe also this dish is very popular with Far Eastern gourmets.

An Origin of "Beggar's Chicken"
People trace to the source of Hangzhou's "Beggar's Chicken" and find a story.It happened long long ago. The federal dynasty imposed heavy tax on civilians, and people were deprived of everything. Family broken up, they strayed everywhere as beggars. One day, a beggar was floating in Changsu of Jiangsu Province, cold and hungry. Little by little, he couldn't stand up and fainted. His fellow sufferers were trying to save him. They collected wood and burned it to warm him up. One fellow sufferer took out the only remained chicken and prepared to cook for him. But without any tools to cooking, they were very worried. Suddenly, one of them got an idea. He suggested wrapping up the chicken with slush, and putting the mud pie into fire to bake. They continuously collected wood and baked mud pie. Finally, when the chicken was fully cooked, they began to knock open mud. To everyone's surprise, the feather Beggar's Chickenwas also falling off with mud, and the chicken smelled very nice. The aroma attracted all neighbors around. They came and couldn't stop praising the unique cooking style and the unique taste.

Later, Louwailou absorbs this cooking experience and makes some improvement. They takes "Yue Chicken", Shaoxing's Wine and the lotus leaf in West Lake as the material. First, they kill a fresh "Yue Chicken" and clean it, add all kinds of spices, stuff condiment in chicken's stomach, then bind it with West Lake lotus leaf, wrap it with a kind of mixture made by Shaoxing wine, salt water and mud from wine jar, finally bake it in steady fire for three to four hours. The mud pile is opened in front of guests. Because the chicken is cooked in a sealed envelope, the original taste is perfectly kept, and with the flavor of wine penetrating into chicken, you will feel a fragrance coming when opening the mud. Thus this dish is full of not only nutrition but also sentiment. That's why when tourists come to Hangzhou, they all want to taste this traditional and famous dish.

How To Make Beggar's Chicken?
2 small poussins or spring chickens ,for the dough covering: 600 g flour water.
Beggar's Chicken
1 tsp sunflower oil, 110g/3.5oz lean pork cut into cubes,1 medium onion finely chopped,1cm piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated, 8 finely sliced shiitake mushrooms finely chopped, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 1 tbsp light soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper,

Mixture for skin
1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp rice wine or Amontillado sherry, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 2 spring onions finely chopped 1cm piece of ginger,1 tsp sunflower oil

Utensils1 rolling pin
1 bowl
1 baking tray
1 frying pan
1 small mixing bowl
aluminium foil or roasting bag
1 spoon

Step 1: Preheat the oven
Set the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/ gas mark 6).
Step 2: Marinate the chicken
Mix the dark soy sauce, wine, half of the oil, a little of the shredded ginger and the spring onions in the bowl.Spread this mixture all over the poussins and let it marinate for 1 hour.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 3: Make the stuffing
Heat up a little of the oil in a frying pan and add the pork. Fry until nice and crispy. Then add the mushrooms, onion, the rest of the ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and pepper. Cook over a moderate heat for a few minutes.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 4: Stuff the poussins
After a few minutes of cooking, take the saucepan off the heat and drain away any excess oil if necessary. Then, open up the necks of the poussins and put in the mixture.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 5: Wrap up the poussins
Wrap them tightly in aluminium foil or place them in a roasting bag and close tightly to prevent the juices from escaping.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 6: Make the dough
Put the flour in a bowl, gradually, stir in the water and mix until it is a firm dough ball.
Step 7: Roll out the dough
Once mixed, divide into two and roll out the dough to around 0.5 cm in thickness so that it is big enough to completely cover the poussins.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 8: Cover the poussins
Fold the dough over the poussins and press the edges and ends together. Add a little water to make the dough stick.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 9: Cook the parcels
Place the parcels on a baking tray. Check that there are no holes in the dough or at the joins for the steam to escape. Now place in the oven and cook for 3 hours 200℃.
Beggar's Chicken
Step 10: Break, open and enjoy
After 3 hours in the oven, take out the parcels. Crack open the dough (this is not meant to be eaten) and discard. Cut open the roasting bag or the foil. And tuck in!!
Beggar's Chicken


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