Daokou Braised Chicken

Daokou braised chicken

Daokou braised chicken (道口烧鸡) is one of the traditional specialty dishes of Daokou Town, Huaxian County, Anyang City, Henan Province. It is renowned as the “Number One Chicken in China” and is on par with Beijing roast duck. With a history dating back over 300 years to the 18th year of the Shunzhi reign in the Qing Dynasty (1661), the technique for making Daokou braised chicken originated from the “Yixing Zhang” family chicken shop in Daokou Town. Over the centuries, through continuous exploration and practice by successive generations, it has developed into a unique culinary art form.

The process of making Daokou braised chicken is meticulous. High-quality, healthy live chickens are used as the main ingredient, accompanied by a seasoning packet made from over 20 types of medicinal herbs, along with the use of aged soup stock that is recycled. After slaughtering, cleaning, shaping, and deep-frying, the chickens are boiled vigorously over high heat and then simmered over low heat for several hours until the meat is tender and flavorful. The chicken has a bright color, resembling a gold ingot, with a delightful aroma, and it is believed to have therapeutic and health benefits.

The unique flavor of Daokou braised chicken stems from its strict selection of ingredients, meticulous preparation, and careful use of seasonings. The chickens must be under two years old to ensure the quality of the meat. The key lies in the selection and combination of spices, with no single ingredient being dispensable. The cooking technique requires precision, with the chickens simmering for 3 to 5 hours, along with adjustments to the heat, resulting in a chicken that is tender, fragrant, succulent, well-seasoned, and not greasy.

Daokou braised chicken is not only beloved by locals but has also become nationally renowned as a delicacy. Its unique cooking technique and flavor have earned it a high reputation across the country. Today, Daokou braised chicken has become an indispensable dish on the dining tables of people in Huaxian County during festivals and celebrations. It is also a top choice for tourists seeking to taste local specialties.

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