Birds 20: Braised Chicken (鹵雞)

Take a entire[1] chicken and stuff its body cavity with thirty stalks of green onion and two qian of fennel seeds. Use one jin of wine and half a small cup of autumn sauce and boil the chicken for one incense stick’s time. Next add one jin of water and two liang of rendered lard and braise everything together.[2] When the chicken is done, skim the fat off the cooking liquid. Be sure to use boiled water when braising. When the cooking liquid has been reduced down to a rice bowl full of thickened glaze, remove the chicken from the pot. The chicken can be served pulled apart by hand or sliced thinly with a knife and then dressed with the glaze.

鹵雞
囫圇雞一隻,肚內塞蔥三十條、茴香二錢,用酒一斤。秋油一小杯半,先滾一枝香,加水一斤、脂油二兩,一齊同煨;待雞熟,取出脂油。水要用熟水,收濃鹵一飯碗才取起;或拆碎,或薄刀片之,仍以原鹵拌食。

soy_sauce_chicken
Soy braised chicken (Credit: Dennis Wong)

Again, nothing to say about this recipe than a few points. I think from now on I’m going to say things in this footnote format if I don’t have anything more substantial to say.

  1. I’ve translated 囫圇 (hulun) as “entire”, as in no guts and feathers but with everything else remaining. The term also has this idea of coarseness from a whole unprocessed item.
  2. A hour to cook chicken is already pretty long. And why add more water? Where chicken that tough in Yuan Mei’s day? Either that or it may be a continuation of Yuan Mei liking everything cooked to falling apart.
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