Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Call It Emperor's Chicken or Beggar's Chicken...

Beggar's chicken...........


I have been cooking beggar's chicken for ages and I have yet to cook it the original way that is by wrapping this popular bird in kilos of mud or soft dough made from wheatflour and then baking it in the oven for hours. As its name imply this dish originated long ago in China as a food of the beggars with the simple chicken wrapped in mud cooked over a fire. As the story goes, an emperor who happens to taste it had such fancy and admiration for this humble dish that he made it his favorite dish in his palace. So with some herbal concoction this dish has become the emperor's chicken.

I have my own way of cooking this good for health dish the easy way of course without compromising on taste. Here is how I cook it weeks ago.

In a saucepan, cook a packet of chinese herbs consisting of tong sum, kei chee, wai sun, yuk chuk, and dong kuai. ( I do not like the smell of dong kuai so it was ommited) with a few tablespoon of water and Chinese wine for about 10 mins to get the flavor out. Leave aside to cool and then ready to be stuff in bag or just into the stomach of the whole chicken.

The boiled herbs......


I stuff the boiled herbs into a bag as I only use half chicken....

Next, rub the cleaned chicken ( I used half coz could not finish the whole chicken) with oyster sauce, black soya sauce, thin soya sauce, Shao Shin wine, pepper and salt.


Seasoning the chicken.............

Ready for wrapping........


Putting in steamer rack in pressure cooker.........

Then wrapped the chicken in transparent paper or foil and put it in a pressure cooker to steam with a bowl of water for 30 to 40 mins.


17 comments:

Dutchie said...

Hi SJ,

As a rule, my mom would make a pot of herbal chicken once a month, as a source of strengthening the female body. I never liked it bec the strong aroma (ginseng, ugh)gives me headaches n the soup tasted bitter.

Living in europe now, I did wonder if I should hv listened more to my mom's advise. My hubby, on the other hand believes in eating a balanced diet n all will be well.

My late MIL was a fan of vitamin pills n never stopped urging me to use them (esp pills that benefit people from the tropics bec we hv a big lack of sun here).

I do make the effort to cook instead of stocking up on frozen food which r high on carbo, which could explained why most folks here r expanding sideways :-0

Kok said...

Hello Sweetjasmine,
It seems so hard to cook this beggar chicken leh. Maybe I should just go and visit you and get this beggar chicken. Can kah?:P

EastCoastLife said...

I have not been cooking this for a long long time! I love to eat this. yum yum

Sweet Jasmine said...

Hi Dutchie, I do believe in using chinese herbs in my cooking as I do find them a natural health booster as oppose to vitamins which are chemically produce. I too will get a headache when I take ginseng as it is too heaty for some like us. So I used other much cooling herbs like 'tong sum' which has the same properties like ginseng and also much cheaper.

Of course eating a balance diet is the best thing but unfortunately most busy people today do not have time to care about their diet.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Kok, what is so hard leh? Cracking your brain in Uni is even harder isn't it. If a beggar can cook it so do you..ha.ha.

Sweet Jasmine said...

eastcoastlife - I think drinking your Brand's chicken essence is better than this ya?

Little Corner of Mine said...

I simply love this! Whenever I go back to M'sia, I will make sure I buy some packet of Emperor's Chicken premix to cook it here.

Anonymous said...

How do you steam with a pressure cooker? Do you need to put the knob on the cover (Buffalo brand)?

Thanks!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Jasmine, only a Master cook, a gourmet cook will know how to make this dish. I love it...but believe you me....I have never met a lady past, present....except for you now who can make this dish.
My wife won't ever dare try, ha ha.

Cooking this dish is one thing, it is THE correct amount of herbs, spices, the right heat and of course, the most important ingredient of all...love.

Jasmine, you my kind of lady. Have a nice day and hold that smile, Lee.
ps, anymore left? Can I come over? Ha ha.

Johnny Ong said...

in my opinion, the right kind of spices / ingredients, the gravy is the one that will make this chicken dish delicious

Sweet Jasmine said...

Little corner of mine - Now cooking this chicken is a breeze as you can buy ready pre-mix herbs in the supermarket.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Hi Lee, I do cook this dish according to my taste and my choice of herbs but not as good as a gourmet cook for sure. The original way of cooking it will taste better but is too time consuming and tedious to try out.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Anonymous - Steam or simmer it in the pressure cooker with the knob on top of cover and time it when the red rings appear.

Sweet Jasmine said...

Hi Johnny, The gravy will of course depends on the ingredients of the right herbs and sauces used besides the method in cooking it in such a way that all the flavors are locked in within the chicken.

EastCoastLife said...

How are you these days? Feeling better?

Sweet Jasmine said...

Eastcoastlife - I just had my first outing to tesco supermarket today shopping for groceries. Still feeling tired after an hour of walking. Hope to gain more strength in a few weeks time.

Kess And Her Mama said...

Good to see that you're cooking again. Take it easy and don't overdo it. Swing by Kess' blog and collect my Christmas card.