3 1/2 lb Frying chicken
4 lb Wet modeling clay
3 Dried lotus leaves
1/2 lb Ground pork
1 tb Peanut oil
2 tb Salted mustard green
1 ts Sugar
1 ts Fresh ginger root; minced
-----mixture for skin-----
1/2 ts Salt
1 ts Sesame oil
1 tb Medium sherry
1 tb Dark soy sauce
Prepare Chicken: Trim excess fat from chicken; remove wing tips. Mix
mixture for skin; rub chicken inside & out with it. Leave uncovered at
room temperature, while coating is absorbed and dried. Repeat if
Stuffing: In hot wok, heat peanut oil to smoking. Stir-fry ground
pork 2 minutes; add mustard green, ginger & sugar; stir-fry 1 more
minute. Remove & cool.
Lotus Leaves: Number of leaves depends on their size & that of
chicken. Reduce heat under boiling water to simmer, & steep leaves
for 3-5 minutes, until wet through & pliable (no longer or leaves may
shred). Now soak in cold water for 10 minutes, or longer, until time
to use them; open folded leaves in cold water to wash them.
Wrap Chicken: Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Stuff chicken with pork
mixture. Cut hard center out of lotus leaves, then slit along fold
about 3" on each side of center, so cut away center can be
overlapped. Wrap chicken in 3 layers of lotus leaves. Tie securely
with piece of cotton or fiber string (don't use nylon; it might
melt). Spread soft, wet modeling clay about 1/2" thick on sheet of
newspaper. Bring clay pack around chicken & seal. Remove newspaper.
(Use foil if clay unavailable.) Roasting: Place clay-covered chicken
on rack in shallow roasting pan in preheated oven. Bake for 1 hour;
reduce heat to 350 degrees & bake for another 1 1/2 hours.
Serve: Present fired clay chicken to table. Crack clay with
suitable object, allowing some of steam to escape before you proceed.
Remove clay; carefully cut open lotus leaves with scissors. Chicken
will be very soft & tender; break apart to get at stuffing. Serve
guests, or invite them to pick with chopsticks.