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Beggar's Chicken I


Beggar's Chicken I
3 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 Tablespoon coarse salt
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespons soy sauce
1/2 teeaspoon five-spice powder
1 three to four pound whole chicken, cleaned inside and out
1/2 cup smoked cured ham, sliced thinly
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced thinly
1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced thinly
1/2 cup soaked dry shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 to 5 pounds clay that hardens and is food-safe
about a yard of parchment paper
1. Mix sherry, salt, sesame oil, soy sauce, and five-spice powder and rub the chicken inside and out, reserving any not used.
2. Mix ham, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms with the leftover rubbing liquid and stuff the bird.
3. Wrap the chicken in parchment paper then surround it all over with about half-inch of clay.
4. Put it in the oven, turn the heat on and put it at 450 degrees fahrenheit and bake for two and a half hours. 5. Remove the hardened mass and egin by cracking the bird over a deep pan. Capture any juices and serve them in a gravy-type bowl. Set the broken pieces, much chicken and all, on a platter and bring it to the table. Finish cracking and serve in pieces with the guests removing the clay and eating the chicken as the beggar might have.
Note: This type of clay is usually available in art supply and craft stores.

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