Chinese-style Baked Chicken in Salt

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, about 3 lb
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 lb sea salt or coarse salt

Filling

1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 star anise, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons Mel Kuei Lu Chiew (玫瑰露酒) or brandy

Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chicken stock

Method

  1. Rinse the chicken, drain, and remove any fat from the cavity opening and around the neck. Cut off and discard the tail. Blanch the chicken in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then refresh under cold water and dry well. Brush the chicken with the soy sauce and hang it up to dry in a cool and airy place for a couple of hours, or keep it, uncovered, in the fridge.
  2. To make the filling, combine the green onion, ginger, star anise, salt and Mel Kuei Lu Chiew. Pour the filling into the cavity of the chicken. Wrap the chicken tightly with a large sheet of cheesecloth.
  3. Heat the salt in a large clay pot or braising pan very slowly until very hot, then turn off the heat and remove and reserve about half the salt. Make a hole in the center of the salt and place the chicken in it, breast side up, then cover with the salt removed earlier so that the chicken is completely buried. Cover the clay pot or braising pan and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 45-50 minutes. Allow to sit for at least 15-20 minutes before taking the chicken out. (The salt can be reused.)
  4. To make the dipping sauce, heat the oil in a small wok or saucepan. Fry the green onion and ginger for 1 minute, then add the salt and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the casserole and unwrap it. Using a cleaver, cut the chicken through the bones into bite-size pieces. Arrange on a serving dish and serve hot or cold with the dipping sauce.

Source: The Food of China

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