This is a Shanghainese recipe. The dish is said to be named after the beautiful imperial concubine Yang Guifei, who lived in the eighth century. The emperor, who loved her to distraction, was forced to execute her when his soldiers, who are said to have resented the power of her family at the court, mutinied during a retreat after a lost battle.
2 lb. roasting chicken
1 1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup rice wine
1 tbsp. ginger wine (see below)
1. Rub the chicken all over with salt and leave for 1 hour. Then steam over high heat for 40 minutes. Remove and drain.
2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the backbone and chop the breast, wings and legs into bite-sized pieces.
3. Put the chicken into a deep dish and pour over sufficient wine just to cover. Add the ginger wine and leave in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferable 48. Serve cold as a whole dish.
To make ginger wine, ½ oz. bruised ginger, soaked overnight in 3 tbsps rice wine. Strain and use as required. It will keep for several weeks in a closed container.