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Salt-Baked Chicken

Note: These recipes have been adapted from "The Chinese Chicken Cookbook" by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. Copyright 2003 by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. Reprinted by permission of Simon and Schuster.

  • servings: 6




  • 1 one-inch piece dried tangerine skin
  • 2 whole dried lotus leaves, or 4-foot piece cheesecloth
  • 6 pounds coarse salt
  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds), cleaned well, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons Shao-Hsing wine or sherry
  • 3 scallions, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces, white parts lightly smashed
  • 1 slice (1/2-inch long) peeled ginger
  • Salt-Baked Chicken Dip


  1. Step 1

    Place tangerine skin in a small bowl. Add enough hot water to cover. In a large bowl, place lotus leaves. Add enough hot water to cover, and place a second bowl over leaves to keep them submerged. Let tangerine skin and lotus leaves soak for 30 minutes. Drain; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile; preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 pounds salt in a large Dutch oven, and 3 pounds salt in a roasting pan. Place Dutch oven and roasting pan in oven until very hot, about 30 minutes

  3. Step 3

    Rub chicken all over with the Shao-Hsing. Stuff scallions, ginger, and soaked tangerine skin into the cavity of the chicken. Wrap chicken with overlapping lotus leaves, or cheesecloth, to enclose.

  4. Step 4

    Remove salt from oven, and increase temperature to 450 degrees. Make a shallow well in salt in the Dutch oven. Place chicken, breast-side up, in the well. Spoon salt from the roasting pan over chicken to cover completely. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, and let stand for 15 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Brush away salt, and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Unwrap it, and discard lotus leaves. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces. Serve immediately with salt-baked chicken dip on the side.