• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Tea and Cassia Bark Smoked Chicken

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Chinese, Poultry

 Ingredients List

  • 4 lb Chicken, fresh killed
  • 2 1/2 tb Salt, kosher
  • 2 tb Peppercorns, Szechuan,
  • 1/2 ts Ginger, minced
  • 2 ts Zest, orange, minced
  • 2 md Scallions, 3" lengths
  • 4 sl Ginger, 1/8" thick
  • 1/4 c Leaves, tea, black, lichee
  • 1/3 c Sugar, brown, packed
  • 1/3 c Rice, raw
  • 3 Star anise, whole
  • 1/8 c Bark, cassia
  • 7 sl Peel, orange **
  • 1 1/2 ts Oil, sesame


1/2 lb Onion, red, firm
6 1/2 tb Vinegar, rice, unseasoned
3 1/2 tb Sugar
1/8 ts Chili, red, flakes, dry
1/8 ts Peppercorns, Szechuan,
3 Garlic, cloves, minced
Ma-La Cucumber Fans ***

** Remove the peel from fresh oranges, slice into finger lengths, and
allow to dry on a counter until curled.

*** See recipe for Ma-La Cucumber Fans.

Remove the kidneys nestled to either side of the chicken tail bone,
then flush the chicken with cold water inside and out - then pat dry.

Heat the salt and peppercorns in a dry skillet over a medium-low heat,
stirring constantly, until salt turns off white and peppercorns are very
fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Grind the hot mixture to a powder in a food processor or mortar, then
sieve to remove peppercorn husks. Rub pepper-salt, ginger, and orange peel
over the outside and inside of the chicken. Put the chicken, breast-side up
in a heat-proof pie plate, and cover with plastic film. Set aside for 24
hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Drain the marinating juices. Smash the scallion lengths and ginger
coins to release the juices, then array on top of the chicken and in the
cavity. Steam for 30 minutes over medium-high heat.

Let the chicken rest in the steamer an additional 5 minutes before
removing the lid. Drain the steaming juices. (These can be strained,
chilled, and used to make sauces and season soups and stir-frys.) Remove
the scallion and ginger.

Line an old wok and lid with super heavy-duty tin foil. Combine the
tea, sugar, rice, peppercorns, anise, cassia bark and dried orange peel,
and scatter in the bottom of the lined wok. Place the chicken breast side
up on the oiled smoking rack in the wok set above spices. Turn heat to
high, wait until smoke sends up several thick plumes, then cover wok and
crimp foil shut to contain the smoke.

Smoke the chicken over medium-high heat, for 12 minutes, then turn off
the heat and let the chicken rest in the sealed wok for 7 minutes.

Remove the bird, brush with sesame oil, then chop into pieces with a
thick-bladed cleaver designed to cut through bones. Garnish the smoked
chicken with Hunan Red Onion Pickles. Use Ma-La Cucumber Fans as a side


Remove the tips and the peels of your onions. Cut evenly into rings
3/8-inch thick. Separate the rings, removing any loose inner membranes.

Combine the vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar, chili, peppercorns, and
garlic in a heavy, non-aluminum saucepan. Stir over moderate heat to
dissolve sugar, then simmer for three minutes. Taste and adjust if needed
with remaining sugar to balance sweet, tart, and spicy flavors.

Add onion rings, then toss with chopsticks until onion wilts and
liquid regains simmer, three to four minutes. Scrape mixture into a shallow
bowl and refrigerate.

Before serving, remove any loose onion membranes and most of the

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