New Heong Kee Restaurant is famous for one thing – their signature beggar’s chicken. We ate there for the first time last night and it will not be our last.
Beggar’s Chicken has to be one of the most laborious ways to cook chicken but it is also one of the best. First, you pre-order at least a day in advance. Then, a whole chicken is stuffed with Chinese medicinal herbs, wrapped in layers of heatproof plastic, encased in clay and then buried in a pit of burning charcoal.
Six to eight hours later, it’s shovelled out of the pit into a wheelbarrow where the waiter breaks the smouldering clay with a hammer. Your fragrant, meat-so-tender-it-falls-off-the-bone Beggar’s Chicken.
The story goes that 100’s of years ago a beggar stole some chickens and as he did not want to get caught cooking them, he put them in a clay pot and buried the pot in hot coals and hence the Beggar’s Chicken technique was born.