Beggar’s chicken

After watching Marion’s Thailand on the Food channel, I decided to try her Beggar’s Chicken recipe.  As the weather has started getting chillier, this was a great dish to have – fragrant, warming and salty, with nice tender chicken and a delicious broth ladled over steaming rice.  Yummy!

It uses coriander roots which is often a part that I discard, but has such a great flavour.  Make sure you clean it well.  If you need more information on preparing it, have a look here.  You don’t need to cut it up though as it gets all mashed up in the mortar and pestle anyway.


Beggar's chicken


Beggar’s chicken



6 coriander roots

8 small garlic cloves (about 4 large cloves)

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

¼ tsp sea salt

4 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 whole free-range chicken

1 cup dark soy sauce

3 Tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to taste

3 whole star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp sugar

¼ cup coriander leaves

1 long red chilli, finely sliced



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).

Heat oil in a pot just large enough to hold the chicken. Fry paste for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the whole chicken and lightly brown for about 2 minutes per side. Add dark soy sauce, fish sauce, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Pour in enough water to almost cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 60 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through cooking.

Carefully remove chicken and place into a deep serving dish. To the broth, add fish sauce to taste and sugar. Pour broth over chicken and garnish with coriander leaves and sliced chillies. Serve with steamed rice.

Beggar's chicken


4 thoughts on “Beggar’s chicken

  1. Your beggar’s chicken looked luxurious, more befitting of an emperor, lol…
    I love using coriander roots even for my curry rempah, i would grind them together with the other ingredients. 😀

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