Beggar's Chicken (China)

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  • 1 (3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 (1-inch square) piece fresh ginger root, pared and cut into thin slices
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Remove giblets from chicken and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper toweling. Place chicken on large piece of greased extra-wide, heavy duty aluminum foil. Rub or brush 2 1/2 tablespoons of the soy sauce completely over chicken. Rub or brush the oil completely over chicken. Pull skin at neck end under chicken and secure with small skewer. Tuck wing tips under thicken.
  2. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce, the sherry, sugar, five-spice powder, onions and ginger. Pour mixture into cavity of chicken, holding tail end of chicken up slightly so liquid does not run out of cavity. Secure tail end of chicken with small skewers. Wrap foil around chicken, sealing securely.
  3. Combine flour and salt in bowl. Gradually mix in enough water to make a firm dough. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until about 1/4-inch thick (dough must be large enough to completely cover chicken.
  4. Place foil-wrapped chicken onto center of dough. Fold dough over chicken, pressing edges and ends together to seal completely. Place chicken in well greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  5. Bake chicken in preheated 450 degrees F oven 1 hour.
  6. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Bake 2 1/2 hours longer.
  7. Remove chicken from oven. Using mallet or hammer, break pastry. Remove chicken from pastry and place on serving plate. Carefully remove foil and skewers.

Makes 4 servings.

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