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The Reason the Chicken Crossed the Road... Mandarin Smoked Chicken

The Reason the Chicken Crossed the Road... Mandarin Smoked Chicken
The Reason the Chicken Crossed the Road... Mandarin Smoked Chicken
Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

I know what you're thinking. You don't have a smoker so you can't make this classic Chinese dish. Wrong! I don't have a smoker either and I make this all the time. In the steps to this recipe, I will show you how to make a smoker out of your wok (or Chef's pan). It is simple, takes no special skills and you can enjoy this simply scrumptious dish!

By the way, even though this recipe calls for a whole chicken, you can do this with your favorite parts of the chicken. Most of the time when I make this dish at home, I use chicken thighs or legs. This dish does have two cooking periods. The first is when you boil the chicken and the second is when you smoke the chicken.

Ingredients needed to make Mandarin Smoked Chicken (serves 4):

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 Tbs. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 green onion, halved
  • 3 thin slices ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ cup loose black tea leaves
  • sesame oil for brushing


  1. Wash the chicken under cold running water and then pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl combine the black pepper and salt. Rub this mixture over the chicken and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. In a pot large enough to hold the chicken, cover the chicken with water and bring to a boil. Add the green onion, ginger, star anise, cinnamon and soy sauce and cook 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
  5. In the bottom of a wok add the flour, sugar and tea. Place a rack over these ingredients and turn the heat to high until the mixture begins to smoke.
  6. Wipe the chicken and place on the rack. Cover the wok and smoke the chicken 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the chicken over, cover the wok and smoke an additional 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the chicken from the wok and brush with the sesame oil.
  9. With a sharp cleaver or butchers knife, cut the chicken, bones and all, into bite size pieces and serve.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook" is now available worldwide and features 80 dishes from the era of the most acclaimed television show in the history of PBS, Downton Abbey.

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