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Salt-Roasted Chicken With Marinade

Type: Chicken, Poultry
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1   Roasting chicken - 4 1/2 to
  - 5 lbs.
1   Caul fat or - cheesecloth soaked
5 lbs 2270g / 80ozTo 6 lb coarse - (kosher), salt or rock salt
3   Fresh ginger root
3   Garlic cloves - lightly crushed
3   Scallions - cut into
1 tablespoon 15mlPeanut oil
1 tablespoon 15mlBean sauce
2 tablespoons 30mlThin soy sauce
1 tablespoon 15mlShaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon 15mlSugar
1   Star anise
1 teaspoon 5mlWhole Sichuan peppercorns - roasted
1/4 cup 59mlChicken broth
8   Stems Chinese parsley

Recipe Instructions

Method: Salt-roasting

[This marinade can also be used on roasted duck. S.C.]

Fill the chicken with the marinade, skewer it shut, and allow it to dry for 1 1/2 hours.

1. Wrap the chicken in a large piece of caul fat or cheesecloth soaked in oil.

2. Heat the salt in a pot [heavy Dutch oven, big wok or whatever can take the heat. S.C.] on top of the stove over a low flame or in the oven at 350F for at least 1 hour. Pour off some of the salt, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Lay the chicken on top of the salt in the pot and cover it with the remaining salt. Cover the pot and bake the chicken for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Remove the chicken from the salt.

4. Pull off the salt that remains caked on the chicken. Be careful, because the salt is hot.

5. With a paper towel, wipe away the remaining salt. (The salt in the pot can be reused.) 6. Peel off the caul fat, drain the marinade, and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course.

May be served hot or cold; if cold, the chicken may be prepared up to a day in advance. (Do not reheat.) Suggested beverage: Pinot Noir or Burgundy

From "Chinese Technique" by Ken Hom with Harvey Steiman. Simon and Schuster, New York. 1981.

This is a good "guest" food. You can appear to have mastered esoteric Oriental cooking techniques without ever having actually prepared the dish before... Unless you drop the pot on the kitchen floor and set it on fire with the hot salt, it's a pretty foolproof cooking technique.

I'd serve this two recipe with hot mustard, a bowl of hoisin sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, spiced salt and a bowl of chopped green onions for dipping along with some sweet Chinese pickles and lots of ice-cold Oriental beer. Heaven! (And rice, of course.)



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