Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka Style

Salt baked chicken, Hakka Style (盐焗鸡: Yan Ju Ji), is originally baked inside a heap of hot salt, but today many restaurants simply cook in brine, or cover it with a salty mixture before steaming it or baking it in an oven.

Hakka cuisine is the cooking style of the Hakka people, who are primarily found in southeastern China (Guangdong and Fujian), but also may be found in many other parts of China, as well as in the Chinese diaspora. Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore have numerous restaurants serving Hakka cuisine.

First: Prepare the Hakka Dipping Sauces for serving

There are mainly three Hakka Dipping Sauces, choose one or all to your taste.

* chili sauce
1. 1 tablespoon hot water
2. 1 tablespoon Chinese chili sauce
3. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
4. 1 teaspoon unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar

make the chili sauce: In a small bowl, combine the water with the chili sauce, vinegar and sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and stir before serving.

* garlic sauce
1. 1 tablespoon sugar
2. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
3. 2 tablespoons unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar

make the garlic sauce: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic and sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar. Let stand for at least 15 minutes and stir before serving.

* ginger sauce
1. 2 tablespoons peanut oil
2. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3. 1 tablespoon (packed) minced fresh ginger

make the ginger sauce: Put the ginger in a small heatproof bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan until it sends up a wisp of smoke, then pour it over the ginger and stir. Stir in the salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve With Hakka Salt-Baked Chicken

Second:Cook Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka Style

Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka Style

Ingredients for Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka Style

3 1/2 lb chicken – (to 4 lbs) rinsed, patted dry (preferably free range chicken)
5 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger lightly smashed
2 scallions lightly smashed, and cut into 1 1/2″ lengths
5 cilantro sprigs plus additional Cilantro leaves for garnish
1 star anise pod
4 1/2 lb kosher salt
1 1/2 tbl Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbl Rose Dew Liqueur or extra-dry vermouth

Hakka Dipping Sauces for serving

Steps to cook Salt Baked Chicken, Hakka Style

1, Rub the cavity of the chicken with the rice wine and stuff with the ginger, scallions, cilantro sprigs and star anise. Place the chicken, breast up, on a rack and brush the outside with the liqueur. Let the chicken stand in a cool, airy place until the skin is dry to the touch, about 2 hours.

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