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T = 1 hour

Story of Beggar's Chicken:


A homeless, starving beggar is wandering along a road when he catches sight of a chicken. Desperate for food, he kills the chicken by wringing its neck. At this point an Emperor passes by with his entourage.


The beggar panics, covers the chicken in mud, and throws it in the fire. Attracted by the aroma, the Emperor stops and inquires of the wonderful smell. The beggar presents his dinner. The Emperor dines with the beggar, demanding to know how he created such a delicious meal. "Beggar's chicken" is subsequently added to the list of dishes served at the Imperial court.


This story has a footnote. In "The Chinese Kitchen", Eileen Yin-Fei Lo notes that people are not always happy with the name of the dish. In Beijing you'll sometimes see Beggar's Chicken called "Fu Guai Gai," or "Rich and Noble Chicken."

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Taken on November 23, 2007