Annie’s been meaning to make Beggar’s Chicken for a while. Legend has it that a Chinese beggar stole a chicken and cooked it by wrapping it in clay and tossing it in a fire. The chicken, sealed in the clay, came out moist and tender.
She got this modernized recipe from “At Home with Amy Beh”: Marinate a whole chicken in some salt, pepper, sesame oil, and a little Chinese rice wine. Stir-fry some ginger, carrots and mushrooms and add a sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, salt, thick soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stuff into bird.
Wrap chicken in lotus leaves, aluminum foil, and finally a salt dough. Bake at 200*C for 1 hour, then reduce to 190*C and bake until the dough is dark brown.
Crack the dough and split open the package.
The chicken is very moist, tender, and flavorful. The aroma of the lotus leaves added to the dish. The downside to this is the hard work making the salt dough and wrapping the bird. It may be easier to do in a clay pot.