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Beggars Chicken (Hot Yee Gai) Recipe - Cooking Index

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Beggars Chicken (Hot Yee Gai)

Type: Poultry
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

1   Chicken - 3 to 3 1/4 pounds, cleaned, fat and membranes removed
3 tablespoons 45mlWhiskey or spirits - (ng ga pei, a bottled grain spirit from china)
1   Cinnamon stick - broken into 4 pieces
2   Star anise
1 teaspoon 5mlSalt
2 1/2 teaspoons 12mlSugar
1   White pepper
2 teaspoons 10mlPeanut oil
2 1/2 teaspoons 12mlPeanut oil
1 1/2 cups 93g / 3.3ozDiced onions
6   Chinese black mushrooms - soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, stems
  Discarded - caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 oz 28gPreserved mustard - washed 3 to 4 times, leaves opened and rinsed,
  Finely sliced
2 teaspoons 10mlShao-hsing wine or sherry
1 teaspoon 5mlSesame oil
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlFive-spice seasoning
1/2 teaspoon 2.5mlSalt
2 teaspoons 10mlSugar
1   White pepper
4 cups 250g / 8.8ozUnbleached flour
1 3/4 cups 414mlHot water
2 teaspoons 10mlPeanut oil
2 teaspoons 10mlLotus leaves - soaked in hot (large) water for 20 minutes until softened
2   Feet heavy duty foil

Recipe Instructions

To prepare the chicken, combine marinade ingredients and rub outside and inside of the chicken with it. Place in a dish and set aside.

To prepare stuffing, heat wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add peanut oil and coat wok. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add onions and cook until soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add mushrooms and preserved mustard and mix well. Add wine and mix. Add sesame oil, five-spice seasoning, salt, sugar, and pepper and stir to mix well. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

To prepare dough, place flour on a work surface and make a well in the center. Add hot water slowly with one hand, mix with the other. When water is absorbed, knead until a dough forms. Coat your hands with peanut oil and rub dough, with some pressure, to coat it. Rub hands over work surface as well. Flatten the dough until it is large enough to wrap the chicken.

Stuff the chicken with the prepared stuffing, packing it loosely in the cavity. Close neck and tail openings with skewers. Wrap the chicken completely in the lotus leaves, overlapping if necessary. Place wrapped chicken in center of flattened dough and wrap the chicken, sealing the edges with the fingers. Spread out the foil and place the chicken on it, breast side up. Fold foil around the chicken, closing it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Place chicken in a roasting pan and bake for 3 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove foil, cut the hardened dough with kitchen shears and peel it back, cut lotus leaves and peel away, cut chicken skin and peel that back. The chicken is soft, falls away from the bone, and is best served by scooping the meat and the stuffing together to serve.

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