Beggar's chicken got another name “Changshou Beggar’s Chicken” and is a renowned dish from district Changshou of Han ethnics which roasts the well-dressed chicken wrapped with earth and lotus. The color is bright red with fragrant. The skin is crispy and flesh is tender. When try it, it is crispy, fatty and tender with a unique flavor.
It is said, long time ago, there is a beggar, passing through one village in county Changshou. One day, he got one chicken. He tried to eat the chicken, but he did not have any cooking wares and seasonings. He came to the foothills of Mountain Yu, after killing the chicken, and got rid of viscera, wrapped the chicken with earth and dried grass, simmered the chicken, when the earth was dried, chicken was well-done, after get rid of the earth shell, the fur of chicken was taken off automatically, the flesh comes. Around 100 years ago, Shancaiyuan restaurant lied at west to Yushan resort of Changshou county made some renovation of this dish and copied this method according to the sayings.
“Beggar’s chicken” is sourced from Zhejiang and it is the chicken stolen by those poor beggarWrapped chicken with earth and roast the earth, when the earth is heat, then the chicken is well done too. Beggar’s chicken got another name as “noble’s chicken”, originally made by beggar thus with name beggar’s chicken. It is said when Zhu, yuanzhang competed for emperor, one time, he was defeated and ran three days and three nights. Enemy ran after him and zhu,yuanzhang felt so tired and felt hungry. At that time, he saw some fire in front and there is some earth in the fire. There was one beggar besides the fire, Zhuyuanzhang asked him In surprise, what did you do here? The beggar saw Zhu,yuanzhang and said: I made the roast chicken for you. After hearing it, Zhu,yuanzhang felt very shocked. The old beggar took the chicken out of the fire and unwrapped the earth, the good smell spread out. When zhu, yuanzhang ate it, he appraised it, “very delicious”. Since then, Zhu,yuanzhang won many fights and became the emperor later. After that, Zhu,yuanzhang renamed the chicken as “Noble’s chicken”.
There is another fairy tale. When emperor Qianlong visited south China, he got lost in the wild land. One beggar sent him the Beggar’s chicken. At that time, Qianlong felt hungry and sleepy and of course felt the chicken was delicious. After eating it, he asked the name of the dish. The beggar felt embarrassed to name the chicken as “Beggar’s chicken”, instead he named the chicken as “noble’s chicken”. Qianlong appraised the chicken a lot. Later the beggar knew that the stroller was the emperor. Because the emperor appraised the dish, so until now, it turns out as a dish in the banquet.
It is said in Qing dynasty, at the foothill of Yushan mountain, Changshou, a hungry beggar caught a chicken from the grass and tried to eat it. But the beggar did not have any cooking utensils and seasonings, and even without hot water for pulling off chicken’s fur. The beggar killed the chicken, took the viscera out of the chicken. Then he wrapped the chicken with lotus leave and earth and dried grass and roasted the chicken on fire. When the earth was dried, the chicken was fallen down to the ground, the fur was taken off automatically and a good smell spread out. There is a servant of a local rich man passing by and attracted by the good smell. He got the cooking method from the beggar and told his boss. The rich man cooked the chicken and asked relatives and friends for trying it. Everyone appraised it and asked the dish name. The rich man named the chicken as “Beggar’s chicken”. A famous cook of Yingyuan restaurant in Changshou made some renovation and added various seasonings in the stomach of the chicken, then wrapped with pig net oil and lotus, at last wrapped with yellow earth and roasted. It tastes really delicious and renamed as “simmer chicken wrapped with yellow earth”.
How To Make Beggar's Chicken?
2 small poussins or spring chickens , for the dough covering: 600 g flour water.
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 skin1 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 oilUtensilsUtensils1 rolling pin
1 baking tray
1 frying pan
1 small mixing bowl
aluminum foil or roasting bag
Step 1: Preheat the oven
Set the oven to 200?C (400?F/ 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.
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.
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.
Step 5: Wrap up the poussins
Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or place them in a roasting bag and close tightly to prevent the juices from escaping.
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.
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.
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℃.
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!