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.
- 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.