Saturday, May 3, 2008

Roast Herbal Emperor Chicken 烘烤药材皇帝鸡

I really love chicken cooked with herbs dishes. They just taste and smell so nice not to mentioned good for general health.

This is one of the herbal dish I cook rather often. I used to steam it before I have an oven. This time I did it a little different. I roast it! I used the way I did the Roast Chicken with Garlic to make this. It's still taste the same except now we have crispy skin. Okay, it's a bit burned here. :P

This chicken meat is soft, moist and filled with the sweetness of herbs! If I were to do the the conventional way which is steaming, I won't get this result just in 1 to 1 1/2 hours. That's why previously, when I do this, it's at least 3 hours in low fire.

And don't forget the soup! That's the best part! Drink it up! There isn't much to go around so you might have to fight to even get a mouthful! LOL

  • 1 Chicken, cleaned
  • 500ml Water
  • Salt to taste
Assorted Herbs in approximate weight:
  • 24g Huai Shan 淮山 (Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae)
  • 18g Dang Shen 党参 (Codonopsis Pilosulae)
  • 16g Yu Zhu 玉竹 (Solomon's Seal Rhizome)
  • 22g Long Yan Gan 龙眼干 (Dried Longan)
  • 10g Gou Qi Zi 枸杞子 (Wolfberries)
  • 6 Hong Zao 红枣 (Red Dates)
  • 3g Chuan Gong 川芎 (Szechwan Lovage Rhizome)
  • 5g Tang Gui 当归 (Angelica Sinensis)
  • 15g Bei Qi 北芪 (Astragalus Membranaceus)

How to do it:
  1. Place herbs in a oven-proof casserole and add water.
  2. Place chicken, breast side down, on top
  3. Place casserole on a stove and bring to a boil over medium-high fire.
  4. Remove from stove, cover with lid for 5 to 10 minutes so the herbs can softened.
  5. Carefully remove the chicken and stuff some herbs in the cavity.
  6. Return the chicken to the casserole and cover the lid.
  7. Roast in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at180C
  8. Check for doneness; juices would run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a metal skewer.
  9. Remove the lid, season with salt.
  10. Baste the chicken with the soup sauce and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to brown the skin.
  11. Carve chicken or serve as whole.

Alternative Steaming Method:
  1. Steam all herbs with water for 5 minutes.
  2. Place chicken on a aluminum foil.
  3. Stuff some herbs in chicken and scatter the rest around the chicken.
  4. Pour the water used together with the herbs for steaming inside.
  5. Wrap and seal the foil.
  6. Place on a dish and steam for at least 2 hours.
  7. Add salt to taste and serve.

  • Remember to keep checking the water level if you are using the steaming method.
  • Keep a kettle of hot water ready; to add in if the water level is low.
  • DO NOT add cold water.

Click HERE for printer-friendly version of an original recipe.

Herbs from top left
(click to enlarge)

玉竹 Solomon's Seal Rhizome, 党参 Codonopsis Pilosulae, 淮山 Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae
龙眼干 Dried Longan, 枸杞子 Wolfberries, 红枣 Red Dates
川芎 Szechwan Lovage Rhizome, 当归 Angelica Sinensis, 北芪 Astragalus Membranaceus


  1. i love anything herbal :) looks good!

  2. Tracy,
    Really?! Me too! :) I can finish almost a whole pot of Herbal Black Chicken Soup on my own, including the chicken. :P

  3. Wow.. i just simply loved this dish... I used to steam this herbal chicken dishes with rice wine instead of water and it's always the 1st dish to disappear from the table......And yours really look great!!!! :p

  4. Hi, I am an avid reader of your blog. Thanks for providing so many wonderful recipes. Wanted to point out that the caption for the picture of herbs has a mistake. The first picture from top left should be 玉竹 and the third is 淮山.

  5. Ellena,
    My confinement lady did that too! Using rice wine only. But my kids don't really like the taste of wine. I or 2 tablespoon is okay for them. More than that, they will pass that dish, so I use water instead. :)

    Yoke Ping,
    Urgh! Mistake again! Hehehe ... Thanks for pointing out. I'm always so careless.

    However, the required amount for both herbs are correct. It's only the names at the bottom pic that I made a mistake. :P

    Thanks again and thanks for visiting too! :D

  6. Grrr am so angry with me. My alu foil too small piece cannot wrap chick properly. All soup leak out. Grrrrrrr....

    Anyone knows where to buy the plastic bag for wrapping chick?

  7. Cindy,
    Aww ... Hope you try it again. Maybe, this time either with double foil or just double boil it.

    I asked quite a few shops at my area here looking for the plastic wrap too. They said have to go to wholesaler selling all these plastic and foam boxes, etc. And this sell by per packets. No loose sheets. :P

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