Beggar’s Chicken, Mud Hidden Treasure
Imagine a beggar and who steals a chicken under the nose of the emperor’s guards, and a legendary delicacy know as Beggars Chicken was born.
This dish of Beijing origin, Beggar’s Chicken also called “jiaohua ji” in the Shanghainese dialect, and the chicken is stuffed, wrapped, and roasted in this traditional Eastern Chinese recipe also this dish is very popular with Far Eastern gourmets. The Origin of “Beggar’s Chicken”, people have traced the source of Hangzhou’s “Beggar’s Chicken” and find a story. This dish is hangzhou made from chicken soaked in herbs, lotus leaves, covered in clay, and baked. While the chicken is packed with a delicious stuffing, it is the lotus leaf and mud wrapping that makes this bird so intriguing, tender and tasty, and Beggar’s Chicken has a flavor that is unique. The classic recipe for Beggar’s Chicken, while recipes vary a bit, Beggar’s Chicken begins with a whole chicken, and it comes to the table in a hard case, the diners get to crack it open and enjoy a mighty tasty treat.
Like some popular food, Beggar’s Chicken has a romantic tale behind it, and Beggar’s Chicken has a romantic culinary story, like popular food and many versions, the story begins when a starving, homeless beggar in rural China who stole a chicken from someone’s yard. That person killed it, built a fire and prepared the chicken for cooking. Suddenly, the emperor’s guards came along with the Emperor and his entourage, and in a panic to hide the chicken this person covered it with mud and threw it into the fire. Attracted by the aroma of the baked chicken, the Emperor stops and dines with the beggar, demanding to know how this food was created, and such a delicious meal. “Beggar’s chicken” is subsequently added to the list of dishes served at the Imperial court. The resulting baked chicken was said to be the most tender and flavorful chicken ever eaten.
A palate teaser, like negligee off a woman’s back, the chicken is sensuously soft, and it simply slips off the bones, and the wine in which it is marinated.
Purist Beijing or Peking eating tend to fit the stereotype of the Westerner’s idea of “Chinese Food”, red brocade, tasseled lanterns and a more formal, more “imperial” style. The best known aspect of Pekinese culinary grandeur is the multi course meal of Peking Duck, while imperial theatricality is flamboyantly evident in the noodle making exhibitions provided by culinary jugglers in some of the Beijing eateries, the elaborate ceremony of smashing open clay baked Beggar’s Chicken is another touch of Beijing culinary class.
In Beijing, Beggar’s Chicken is called “Fu Guai Gai,” or “Rich and Noble Chicken”, and in “The Chinese Kitchen”, people are not always happy with the name of the dish, although with the fragrance of lotus leaves, Beggar’s Chicken, the dish, is tasty and tender. Beggar’s chicken is the perfect example of how quality chefs, by using quality ingredients and time proven recipes, can command attention, discover these chefs with new eating adventures, and new dishes.