Dapanji - Big Plate Chicken (大盘鸡)
Big Plate Chicken is one of the favorite dishes among travelers wishing to experience Xinjiang cuisine. Yes, one can easily find it at the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an or at a Xinjiang restaurant in Beijing, but trust me when I say that nothing compares to what is cooked up here in the province.
Xinjiang dapanji is often considered a Uygur dish, but it is in fact part of Hui cuisine. It consists of a huge plate of potatoes, peppers, a whole chicken (including feet and sometimes even the head), and various spices unique to the area.
The dish is not only massive but also quite expensive, so it is best ordered for a group. Find four or five local friends or fellow travelers, and get ready to munch the chicken.
How to Order Dapanji
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you order dapanji:
1.Dapanji can often be ordered as a half plate or a full plate. The average full plate feeds three to four people.
2.Most dapanji is quite spicy, which some people love. But if you are not capable of standing the fire in your mouth, ask the waiters to add fewer peppers.
There are two types of dapanji – dapanji and dapantuji. That latter is a bit more expensive, because the chicken is tuji, free-range, corn-fed chicken.