I did this Salt Baked Chicken again on Thursday for dinner. It is my second time doing this dish and the whole family loves it. I did not expect this dish to be so easy to prepare and does not require much ingredients, well … except for 3kg of salt! Worry not, the salt is not part of the seasoning (^^) It is only for the burying of the chicken which is wrapped in baking paper.
I chanced upon the recipe from herworldplus.com and this recipe originates from Chef Lai Fak Nian from Plum Village! Didn’t expect to be able to replicate a chef dish at home! Now, I do not have to go to Ah Lam (阿南盐焗鸡) to get the chicken whenever I have the craving. I have used the kampong chicken thighs given by my MIL for both times I cooked this. The chicken was so tender, juicy and succulent! Friends have tried the recipe with whole Sakura chicken and with the drumsticks only and both turned out great too!
If you have the 2-hour to spare, you should try out this recipe too!
Adapted from herworldplus
Recipe: Salt-baked chicken
For the seasoning
1 tbsp cekur (white ginger) root powder (I got the bottle type from supermarket)
1 tbsp fine salt
4 tbsp hua diao jiu (Chinese rice wine)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium-sized whole chicken, rinsed (I used 5 chicken drumstick thighs)
2 sheets rice paper (I used baking paper and it works perfectly well.)
3kg coarse salt** (Grocery shops like Ang Mo sells the 3-kg packet)
Tip: To halve your cooking time and skip using coarse salt, place the seasoned chicken into a rice cooker or steamer for half an hour. When done, transfer it to an oven and bake for another 30min at 150 deg C. (Tip given by recipe source. I did not try this method)
1. In a mixing bowl, add all seasoning ingredients. Mix well.
2. Rub the seasoning thoroughly into the chicken cavity (if using whole chicken) and all over the skin.
3. Wrap the chicken with the rice paper. (I used baking paper.) (*Be sure to wrap well so that the salt will not get into the wrapped chicken.)
4. Heat a wok over medium-low heat for 3min. Add half the coarse salt and stir-fry for 3-5min.
5. Make a well in the centre and place the wrapped chicken inside. (I placed the chicken with the seams of the paper facing down, so that the salt will not seep into it.) Bury it with the remaining coarse salt.
6. Cover the wok and cook the chicken over medium-low heat for 2 hours. Coarse salt burns easily so make sure you use a slower fire. Then serve.
1. Be careful with the wrapping to prevent the salt from seeping in, making the chicken too salty.
2. Upon removing the chicken from the wok, exercise caution as the salt and chicken are very hot. Also, there would be some juice in the wrapped paper, so be extra careful not to be scalded by the juice when you unwrapped the chicken from the paper.
This traditional Chinese dish is so simple to prepare and yet so yummy, it will definitely be appearing on our dining table often (^^)