Friday 11 September 2015

Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken 药材皇帝鸡

This Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken Photograph Updated in June 2017.
This Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken Photograph Updated in June 2017.
I am a big fan of anything herbal, especially this Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken 药材皇帝鸡. When I was a busy career woman, I used only pre-packed Emperor Chicken Herbs & Spices Mix to prepare this dish. Those were quick fixes for me. My husband never really liked the tastes (I tried many different brands). A bit artificial - he said. Now that I work from home most of the time, I have no more excuse to take short cuts.

As a pure Cantonese, I have a good inventory of Chinese herbs in my refrigerators. You name it, I'd probably have it. Hence, this is a dish that I have no qualms preparing. And would do well.

I am now very particular about herbal dishes. I insist on natural tastes as far as possible. I limit myself to only 2 seasonings on 2 occasions - (1) very little salt for cleansing and seasoning the chicken before cook; (2) rice wine to enhance the aroma after cook.  

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Ingredients (enough for 4 pax) :
  • 1 whole kampong/free range chicken (washed & drained)
  • 4 pcs Huai Shan (Dried Chinese Yam) 淮山 
  • 4 pcs Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root) 党参 
  • 6 pcs Bei Qi (Radix Astragali) 北芪
  • 6 pcs Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal) 玉竹
  • 6 pcs Big Red Dates 大红枣
  • 6 pcs Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root) 当归
  • 6 pcs Chuan Gong (Sichuan Lovage Rhizome) 川
  • 2 tsp Wolfberries 枸杞子
  • 2 tsp Codyceps Flowers 虫草花 (optional)
  • 5 pcs of dried mushrooms (soak till softened)
  • 4 pcs of black fungus (soak till softened)
  • 4 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500 ml water

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)


To help you have a closer look at the Chinese herbs : 

From Left : Huai Shan (Dried Chinese Yam) 淮山; Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root) 党参; Bei Qi (Radix Astragali) 北芪.
From Left : Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal) 玉竹; Big Red Dates 大红枣; Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root) 当归.
From Left : Chuan Gong (Sichuan Lovage Rhizome) 川芎; Wolfberries 枸杞子; Codyceps Flowers 虫草花.

Rub a little salt on the surface of the chicken after washed & drained.
Boil water and get ready for steaming.
Rinse and clean the herbs first. Then transfer all herbs into one bowl and add 500 ml water. Add another 200 ml if you like your herbal chicken to be slightly more soupy. 
When water is boiled, steam herbs & water for 10 minutes. Remove bowl from pot when the herbs start to emit herbal aroma.
Get ready a big piece of foil and similar size plastic sheet or cooking paper. Lay the plastic sheet / cooking paper on top of the foil.
Place the chicken on the plastic sheet and stuff a portion of the herbs into the chicken.
Spread mushrooms, black fungus and the remainder herbs around the chicken and pour the herbal water (from steaming the herbs earlier) and mushroom water onto the plastic sheet. Put a bowl/plate underneath the foil and plastic sheet to prevent water from overflowing/spilling.
Wrap and tie the plastic sheet / wrap the cooking paper in a secure manner.
Wrap foil tightly over the plastic sheet.
Send to steam in high heat for first 15 mins. Then switch to low-medium heat for another 1.5 hour.
Remove chicken from steamer/pot when time's due and unwrap carefully while chicken is steaming hot.
Add 4 tbsp rice wine to instill stronger flavour and aroma.
Full of natural tastes and aroma...less the artificial flavourings.
This Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken Photograph Updated in June 2017.
This Chinese Emperor Herbal Chicken Photograph Updated in June 2017.


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