As per the legend, a beggar in Zhejiang province stole a chicken from a village, and buried it in mud. He retrieved the mud covered chicken latter, and instead of cleaning the mud he just threw it in an open fire. This resulted in hardening the muddy shell around the chicken with a deliciously roasted bird inside. He then started selling chickens cooked this way and made a fortune for himself, also creating a Chinese culinary tradition known as "Beggar's Chicken".
Step 1: Making Five-Spice Powder
Thanks to lmnopeas for her instructable on "Chinese Five Spice Powder" at: https://www.instructables.com/id/Chinese-Five-Spice-Powder/
I followed her instructable in making the Five-spice powder for the Beggar's Chicken recipe.
Step 2: Other Ingredients
I have slightly modified the ingredients required for the original Beggar's Chicken Recipe. The following are the ingredients I have used:
- One kg of Chicken cleaned
- Two tablespoons of Five-Spice Powder
- Three tablespoons of Soy Sauce
- Four medium sized Onions
- One full Garlic bulb
- One inch Ginger piece
- Three tablespoons of cooking oil
- One tablespoon Sugar
- Salt to taste
- One tablespoon Red Chilly powder
- Two Tomatoes
- Four Green Chilies (for the aroma)
Step 3: Making the Spice Paste
- Peeled Ginger and Garlic and Made paste in a Mixer / Grinder
- Peeled Onion and made a paste
- Pureed two tomatoes
- Mixed all ingredients including Five-Spice Powder, Soy sauce, Sugar, Salt, Cooking oil and Red Chilly Powder together along with above pastes in a bowl (other than the Green Chilies)
The spice paste is ready. I have not added any water to the mix.
Step 4: Preparing the Chicken
Sliced green chilies were inserted behind the skin for added aroma.
Now the chicken is ready to be wrapped.
Step 5: Wrapping the Spiced Chicken
The fresh Banana leaf tends to tear down in places while wrapping. Curing the leaf over low flame will prevent it from tearing down.
Placed the spiced chicken in the cured Banana leaf, wrapped it around the chicken and tied it with cotton thread.
The spiced chicken is now ready for Mud-casing
Step 6: Mud-Casing
Now we need to collect fire wood and make an open fire to roast it.
Step 7: Roasting the Chicken in Open-Fire
Initially, we placed the mud casing over an aluminium plate on a metal stand. When the bottom side of the casing was almost hard, we removed the plate and roasted it on open fire. Then turned it upside down to make it cooked evenly on all sides.
It took us about two hours to roast and make the outer mud casing hard on all sides.
Step 8: Beggar's Chicken Ready...!!!
Untied the cotton thread and removed the banana leaf wrapping from around the cooked chicken.
The roasted chicken was rightly done, neither overdone nor under-cooked.
Now the Beggar's Chicken is ready to be served.