Jasmine Tea-Smoked Chicken

Tea-Smoked Chicken (Photo by sunday_driver/flickr)

Serves 6.


1 x 1.5 kg/3 lb roasting chicken
1 tablespoon Chinese rose wine
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 slices ginger
1 spring onion
6 tablespoons jasmine tea leaves
100 g/31/2 oz/1/2 cup raw rice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 whole star anise (or 8 sections)


Remove fat from within cavity and rinse chicken under cold tap. Dry well inside and out with paper towels. Combine wine, soy sauce, salt and sugar and rub well inside the cavity and over the chicken. Put the slices of ginger and the spring onion into the cavity. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.

Prepare a large pan with a well-fitting lid, pour 5 cm (2 in) water into it and bring to the boil. Place chicken in a heatproof plate and put it on a trivet over the water. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan, pour away water and line the base of the pan with heavy-duty foil, taking it a little way up the side of the pan all around to protect the pan from the smoking mixture.

Combine dry tea leaves, rice, brown sugar and star anise, crushed. Sprinkle it evenly over the foil, return trivet to pan and place chicken on it, this time without the dish. Cover pan tightly and place over medium heat. When smoke escapes from under lid, turn heat very low and smoke chicken for 15 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the thigh enters easily and the juice that runs out is clear, not pink.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)