Tea Chicken 茶葉雞: Experiment 1

About three years ago, T and I went back to Taiwan for an “around the island” tour. One of our favourite dishes from that trip was the Oolong Tea Chicken from Asan.

Address: 南投縣鹿谷鄉彰雅村中正路一段192號
Telephone: 049-2754348

烏龍茶雞 Oolong Tea Chicken from http://asan.nantou.com.tw

We were talking about it again on our recent trip to Taiwan, with my grandaunts and granduncles. (Food is an important topic in the Chinese culture.)

My grandaunt (the one that owns the bun shop) suggested saving up tea leaves and stuffing them into the cavity of a whole chicken, then roasting.

This is my first attempt to create Oolong tea chicken (chicken with nice Oolong flavour), not trying to recreate Asan’s (because they don’t use whole chicken).

Tea Chicken Experiment 1

It was good, but not enough tea flavour for us. The flavour was more like the flavour of tea eggs (茶葉蛋): more spices than tea. (I’ll add less spices next time, maybe more tea.)

I started saving up tea leaves after returning from Taiwan. Everytime we had Oolong tea, we would save the leaves and dry them on a clean cloth. Once dried, I’d keep them in a container in the fridge. This worked out pretty well.

Saved up tea leaves

I borrowed ideas from the following places:

I didn’t brine the chicken, mostly because of poor planning.

Tea Mixture
1 cup of Oolong tea leaves (dried)
5 whole cloves
2 star anise
2 slices fresh ginger
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
4 cups of water

To make the tea mixture:

  1. Bring water to boil, add tea leaves. Let leaves steep for 3 minutes. Strain the liquid into a bowl, keep the tea leaves in a separate bowl (set aside**).
  2. Return the liquid to the original pot/saucepan. Add the spices to the liquid, boil for a minute or so. Remove from heat, discard the “solids” and keep the liquid.

Our chicken was a little less than 4 lb. Thought it would be a good time to try this recipe because I saved up enough tea leaves and whole chicken was on sale.

(The Oolong tea we got from Taiwan said that it’s good for 7 steeps.)

What you need for roasting the chicken:
1 whole chicken
1 meat thermometer
1 roasting rack and pan
1 baster

To roast the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius).
  2. Stuff a little more than half of the tea leaves from ** into the cavity of the chicken.
  3. Stuff the rest of the leaves under the skin, like here.
  4. Place the chicken into a roasting pan, pour half of the tea mixture over the chicken.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius). Baste the chicken with the tea mixture. Roast for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Baste the chicken with the tea mixture. Roast for 30 minutes. Or until the temperature of the chicken reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees Celsius).
  8. Let the chicken stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with rice and vegetables.

We enjoyed the chicken. And this lasted us for a few meals (and many containers of broth).

Next time, maybe we will also marinate the chicken (maybe not use a whole chicken) in tea liquid first.

Please support me in the walk to fight arthritis!



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