A-Yuan is my lovely uncle, as well as the main cook of this adorable restaurant that I will introduce today. He started the restaurant by himself 8 years ago. The restaurant itself was located in my hometown, I-Lan. To be more specific about the accurate location of the restaurant, it was right next to the Dongshan Elementary School. Anyways, by looking at the name of the restaurant, I am sure many of you will come up with some doubts in your mind now or at least get ready to ask, “Why is it called Chicken-in-Bucket and what in the world is that?” Now, I would explain to you all about this secret.
Before my clarification, “Chicken-in-Bucket” is basically a dish of chicken roasting in a metal bucket. It was known as one of the best dishes in my uncle’s restaurant. A few years ago, when the restaurant just opened, my uncle A-Yuan only thought of selling this dish. Therefore, the restaurant was then named as “Chicken-in-Bucket.” Afterwards, my uncle added his name in front of the original name of his restaurant to make it sounds friendlier and that was the reason it became “A-Yuan’s Chicken-in-Bucket.”
As I remembered, whenever my uncle started to cook this dish, he would ride a motorcycle to the market in the early morning to get some fresh rare chicken. In fact, it was really a complex process to get the ingredients prepared for the dish, so my uncle’s wife and sons all came along to give him a hand. An important tip for decorating the taste of this dish was to take out all the inner parts from the chicken’s stomach, then stuff the chicken with some special spices such as boiled garlic and scallion. My uncle said this process helps to make the smell much better after it was roasted at the right time. I did not believe for the first time since I seriously hate garlic, but as my uncle pushed me to at least give it a try on that, I realized that he was right about the improvement of the flavor as you add those awesome seasonings! This made me feel that I should have trusted my uncle from the beginning.
Beside this main dish, there is a variety of food in the restaurant that most guests love to order whenever they come, for instance, Spicy Smelly Tofu, Cold Bamboo (one of my favorite dish), or Roasted Butter Fish…etc. I am telling you, they all got heavenly tastes that you will never forget once you have a bite on each of them. Oh, and by the way, there was a brand new dish that my uncle just created a few months ago. The name of that dish is “Yun Nan Jiau Ma Chicken.” So when you come to I-Lan to visit “A-Yuan’s Chicken-in-Bucket,” please do not miss this popular and favorable dish or else you might regret so much after walking out from this fantastic restaurant!
Although this restaurant was created in I-Lan, its unique method of cooking the roasted chicken was actually originated in Chia Yi. Not only because Chia Yi was my uncle’s hometown, but also that he wanted to share this wonderful taste to people from the northern of Taiwan or even foreigners. This clearly indicates us that the ancestors who came from Chia Yi probably keep this local cooking style from long time ago. To me, it is amazing that the cooking style is still popular around different places in Taiwan because of people’s choice of using this old and inconvenient method! I hope that you all can come on over to I-Lan and have some delicious foods in this best restaurant you can never miss, “A-Yuan’s Chicken-in-Bucket!”