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Beggars’ Chicken

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My mum passed down this recipe and it’s now a true family favourite in my household. Gorgeously tender chicken, braised in a rich, spiced soy sauce broth… delicious! Serve it with steamed rice or noodles to really make the most of all that yummy sauce.




10 minutes

1 hour 45 minutes


3 coriander roots

8 small garlic cloves (about 4 large cloves)

1 tsp whole white peppercorns

¼ tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 whole chicken

½ cup sweet dark soy sauce

4 tbsp light soy sauce

3 whole star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp sugar

coriander (cilantro) leaves to serve

steamed rice or cooked vermicelli rice noodles to serve

Step 1

Use a mortar and pestle to pound coriander roots, garlic, peppercorns and salt to a rough paste (you could also do this in a food processor).

Step 2

Heat oil in a pot just large enough to hold the chicken.  Add the paste and cook for a few seconds. Then add the whole chicken breast side down. Cook for 2 minutes or until just golden. Then add the dark sweet soy sauce, light soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon sticks and sugar.  Pour in enough water to almost cover the chicken.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 90 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through cooking.

Step 3

Carefully remove chicken and place into a deep serving dish.  To the broth, add salt to taste. Pour the broth over chicken and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with steamed rice or noodles. 

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Very good0%
January 11, 2023


Absolutely delicious! Found everything I needed at an Asian market except cilantro with the root, so I used several cilantro stems without the root. If you dont like cilantro, don’t worry because it isn’t tasted at the end. It’s so easy to make, yet the flavor is so amazing that people would think you spent 2 days making it. Definitely won’t disappoint even the most picky eaters. I read the recipe to some people who were immediately turned off and saying no no no just because they weren’t used to using the ingredients in their cooking … they absolutely loved it, and a few made it at their homes for their families.

August 15, 2022

This was wonderful!

So delicious! I didn’t have cinnamon stick so I used one tsp of ground instead and it came out great! I also used all thighs because the whole chickens at the store were frozen solid. There ended up being a lot of fat to skim off at the end but I think I will do it this way in the future since I feel like it’s easier to portion out and because I LOVE dark meat. The chicken was falling off the bone and the broth was so flavorful! Thank you Marion for yet another amazing recipe that my boyfriend and I agree was restaurant quality but easily made at home!

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