Author Notes: Like some popular food, Beggar’s Chicken has a Chinese folklore tale behind it … this is a dish that originated from Beijing, China and it is said that a starving, homeless beggar had stolen a chicken from someone’s farm but realized he had no stove nor any tools to cook it so he built a fire and killed the chicken, wrapped it in slush and put the mud wrapped chicken over the fire to cook. Just then, the Emperor and his entourage happened to be passing by and the Emperor was attracted by the aroma of the baked chicken. The Emperor stoped and dined with the beggar, demanding to know how such delicious meal is cooked. “Beggar’s Chicken” thus is subsequently added to the list of dishes served at the Imperial Court.
It is the baking in the flour dough that makes this bird most intriguing, tender tasty and Beggar’s Chicken is packed full of flavour that is most unique!!
It is said that in the “Chinese kitchen”, the Chinese are not too happy with the name “Beggar’s Chicken” hence in Beijing, “Beggar’s Chicken” is not popularly known as “Fu Guai Gai” or “Rich & Noble Chicken” —foodisready
Whole Chicken, 1.5 kg
grams tong sum (Codonopsis Pilosula)
grams dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
grams kei chee (Wolfberries)
grams ried longan flesh
grams plain flour
water for dough mixture
- Clean the Chicken and rub the whole chicken, inside & outside with half of the salt
- Heat up oven to 220°C. Put all the herbs + 1 Tbsp Chinese Wine in a pot together with the 1 cup water and the rest of the salt and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for further 5 minutes
- Place the chicken parcel in the centre and bring the dough up to enclose the chicken securely and overlap the edges and knead to seal the dough crust close ...place it on a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours
- When done, use a pestle or kitchen chopper and break open the flour dough crust, open the foil & bag/cling film carefully and tip the chicken and gravy into a serving dish, drizzle the balance of the Chinese Wine over the chicken and serve up as it is with a salad or served up with plain steamed rice and a stir-fried vegetable dish.