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Yim Kuk Kai aka Salt Baked Chicken

It’s been too long since I last posted on my blog and this is a special request from my son …so I had to cook this, take photos step-by-step and flog it for him so that he can have a go at this dish 😉

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Course Salt is one of the main ingredients you will need … minimum 1 kg but it all depends on whether you bake half a chicken, just a whole leg or a whole chicken …. I baked a whole chicken (quartered into 4pcs) and I used up to 3 kg

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I used 2 casseroles …2 pcs of chicken in each casserole to bake …so here, it shows I spread the 1.5kg salt in each casserole and put the casserole into a pre-heated moderately hot (200-210°C / Gas Mark 5) oven for the salt to be heated up

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here, I boiled Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis), red dates and Kei Chi (Wolfberries) with just enough water to cover herbs for 10 mins or until gravy is reduced until concentrated … set aside

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The boiled herbs with very concentrated gravy

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I used one whole chicken chopped into 4 quarters (2 whole legs + 2 breasts w wings attached) …if you prefer, use all whole legs to the quantity you prefer … rub the chicken pieces with some sesame oil, salt & light soy sauce

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Spread out on your kitchen counter top a double -layered piece of greaseproof paper … make sure it is big enough to wrap each chicken piece into a parcel … with plenty to overlap at closures

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Put some of the herbs in the middle of the greaseproof paper

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Put a piece of the chicken atop the herbs mixture on the greaseproof paper then put some more o fhe herbs mixture atop the chicken, t/w a bit of the gravy

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Gather the top and bottom of the double-layered greaseproof paper and fold it downwards towards chicken piece

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fold ends of paper in to allow stapler to reach as close to chicken as possible and staple both ends

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Both ends stapled, as close to chicken piece as possible … extend back out the folded ends of the paper

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Tuck both ends of the paper underneathe the parcel of chicken

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Carefully flip the parcel over and staple the two ends of the paper … not necessary to staple if you don’t want to but it makes the parcel more secure for handling

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The wrapped parcel of chicken ready to be buried into the course salt to be baked 😉

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With oven gloves, carefully take the casserole of course salt out of the hot oven, dish out 3/4 of the salt into another pot then spread the balance 1/4 evenly to cover base of casserole dish

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Carefully place the chicken parcels atop the layer of salt in the casserole dish and then pour the salt that was dished out earlier atop the chicken parcels and cover the parcels completely

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The chicken parcels completely buried in the course salt….bake in a moderately hot oven (200-210ºC / Gas Mark 5) for 45 – 60 mins …baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces … do not bake too long to avoid chicken being dry!

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here it is … Yim Kuk Kai … Salt Baked Chicken revealed 🙂 …. When done, carefully use  a wooden ladle to remove salt atop chicken parcels and lift parcel out onto serving plate with a thong (support base with wooden ladle if necessary) …. cut/tear open the paper at top of parcel to reveal the chicken and eat off the parcel as it is 😉

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I served up the chicken with this Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables of Broccoli, Mange-tout, Carrots, Fennel Bulb & Ginger ….yumz!!

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