I’m not sure why this dish is called Emperor’s Chicken. Perhaps it’s the cost of the herbs that used to go into this dish. Perhaps the emperors in ancient China loved it. Whatever, the origins of the name, it’s a time and gas-consuming dish.
The simple part is actually the preparation of the chicken. In this case, I’ve used ready-made powdered herbs here. You can use unprocessed herbs like American ginseng, Dang shen (Codonopsis pilosula), Dang gui (Angelica sinensis), Yu zhu (Solomon’s seal) and Gou qi (wolfberry).
Wrap it up with steaming wrap and aluminium, then steam for 2 hours. Yes, that’s 2 hours. Given the length of time needed to prepare Emperor’s chicken, you may want to start preparing it well before you start frying your vegetables.
The chicken is now soft and tender, peeling easily from the bones and the juices are simply wonderful.
© Chan Joon Yee