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Chapter 11: Jinniang Cooked A Meal

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

Princess Fulu snorted but could only put down the little imperial grandson and go to Qiao Jinniang alone.

During the spring hunt, the people of the Duke Mansion would usually have their dinner in the palace.

However, today, Qiao Jinniang stayed in the manor alone, and the cooks actually forgot to make food for Qiao Jinniang.

Even the stove was turned off. Obviously, they didn’t want to cook for Qiao Jinniang.

Yingtao said angrily, “The servants and the maids in the manor are really outrageous! They heard from someone that Miss came from the countryside and was raised by slaves, so they are unwilling to cook for us. Sister Hongling, what should we do?”

Hongling was also annoyed. “These people really lacked discipline, but it will be too late to wait for Madam to come back. Miss needs to eat!”

“Shall we go to the imperial banquet to report this to Madam? She is so nice to Miss, surely she will come back to give her justice.”

Hearing what they said outside, Jinniang said, “Don’t bother. You haven’t eaten either. Let me go to the kitchen to see if there are any ingredients. I’ll cook for you.”

Nuomi’s eyes widened as she said cheerfully, “Great, it’s been a long time since I ate the dishes Miss made.”

On the other hand, the other maids tried to stop Qiao Jinniang, but they failed.

Qiao Jinniang entered the kitchen and asked Nuomi to light a fire.

Although they were manor here, it was still the manor of the Duke Mansion. There were many seasonal vegetables grown here, with chickens and ducks being raised here too.

Qiao Jinniang asked Nuomi to kill a chicken. When Nuomi was chopping the chicken, the other maids looked frightened. Hongling and the other maids grew up in the Duke Mansion. How could they ever see such a scene?

When Princess Fulu arrived, she was frightened too when she saw Qiao Jinniang’s maidservant killing a chicken.

“This, this, this…”

When Qiao Jinniang saw that Princess Fulu had arrived, she asked, “Princess, isn’t the royal banquet about to begin? Why did you come to our manor?”

Princess Fulu said, “The hunt hasn’t begun yet, so the dinner will definitely be unpalatable. When we get prey tomorrow, we’ll be able to eat roasted venison, which will be very delicious.”

“Why do you have to cook by yourself? Are you already disliked by the people of the Duke Mansion so quickly?”

Qiao Jinniang smiled helplessly. “Princess, would you like to join us for dinner? If you’d like, I will make you the famous Lotus-Leaf Beggar’s Chicken.”

“Beggar’s Chicken?” Little Princess Fulu was taken aback.

Nuomi was almost drooling. “The Beggar’s Chicken Miss makes is a must-eat!”

Princess Fulu snorted. “I am a famous gourmet in Chang’an. I don’t believe there is any chicken that is a must-eat.”

Qiao Jinniang said, “The way the South makes the Beggar’s Chicken is different. We don’t bloodlet the chicken or pluck its feathers. My foster father and mother have improved on the recipe a bit. They would soak the chicken in Yuezhou rice wine, brush it with a layer of honey, wrap it with a few layers of lotus leaves, and then cover it with red mud and salt before putting the chicken in an earth pit and starting a fire on the ground.”

Qiao Jinniang said while wrapping the chicken with lotus leaves.

Seeing Qiao Jinniang applying the mud on the chicken, Fulu gasped in surprise. “Is this still edible?”

Qiao Jinniang smiled. “Yes.”

Qiao Jinniang kneaded the dough and rolled out noodle strands of equal size.

Then she placed another chicken into a casserole and boiled a pot of chicken broth. After that, she poured a lot of water in the pot and placed the noodles in it when the water boiled.

Fulu waited outside, and when the firewood burned for about a quarter of an hour, she smelled a strong fragrance.

The scent was really mouth-watering.

Qiao Jinniang took out the noodles, distributed them evenly in six bowls, then poured the chicken broth into the bowls, and garnished the noodles with chopped green onion.

“Qiao Jinniang, are you just feeding me a bowl of plain noodles?”

Fulu had never eaten such plain noodles before.

Qiao Jinniang said, “Princess, why don’t try it out? The Beggar’s Chicken is done too. Let me take it out.”

Seeing that the mud had become lumpy, Princess Fulu felt nauseous.

“Even if I jump down to the lotus pond today, I will definitely not eat your Beggar’s Chicken!”

“It’s wrapped in mud. Look how dirty it is!”

Qiao Jinniang just smiled. “If you don’t like it, then forget it.”

Qiao Jinniang beckoned the maids to sit down and eat together with her, but Hongling didn’t dare to sit and eat together with her. Qiao Jinniang said, “We don’t have so many rules between masters and servants in Lin’an. Nuomi has been eating at the same table with me all the time.

“Besides, I’d like you to help me try my cooking skill. I haven’t cooked for a long time after all.”

Princess Fulu said, “I, a princess, don’t mind sitting with you. Why do you mind? Do you look down on me?!”

Hearing that, Hongling and the other maids could only sit down.

After Qiao Jinniang cracked the mud shell open, the fragrance was overflowing. She washed her hands, peeled off the lotus leaves, and cut the chicken that had the fragrance of lotus leaves with a knife.

The fragrance of the lotus leaf had seeped deep into the chicken.

Princess Fulu tasted the noodles and exclaimed, “Oh, the noodles are really tasty and juicy. How did you make it? How can such plain noodles be so delicious?”

Qiao Jinniang said, “Just put in a few eggs when kneading the dough. Princess, would you like a drumstick?”

Although the chicken smelled very fragrant, considering that it was previously covered in mud, Fulu refused.

But then she saw Nuomi looking at the drumstick eagerly. Obviously, she really wanted to taste it.

Qiao Jinniang cut a small piece of chicken thigh for Fulu.

As a princess, Fulu ate it elegantly. After she finished eating, she gently pursed her lips and said,

“The skin is crispy, and the chicken is tender and juicy. There is the fragrance of lotus leaves in the chicken. This chicken is really yummy, completely different from the chicken I usually eat, which is very chewy!”

Qiao Jinniang gave the whole drumstick that had been cut open to Princess Fulu. “Have more if you like it.”

“Hehe, no wonder they said you were slave-raised. You even cooked for the maids? How cheap is this!”

A female voice dripping with sarcasm sounded.

Qiao Jinniang’s maids were all infuriated.

Qiao Jinniang asked Nuomi, “Are you full?”

Nuomi nodded.

“Then catch that person, as well as those kitchen stewards and servants who refused to cook for us, and hand them to my mother when she comes back.”

Qiao Jinniang was never a person to swallow insults.

Princess Fulu patted Qiao Jinniang’s shoulder and said, “I really feel sorry for you. As the daughter of the Duke, you lived a miserable life for eighteen years, and after coming back, you’re still bullied by the servants.

“If you can’t bear the life in the Duke Mansion, you can go to the Princess Mansion. I can take you in! ”

“Thank you, Princess.” Qiao Jinniang smiled. “That’s very kind of you.”

Fulu said, “Of course. I’m the best princess in the Tang Dynasty. For the sake of your dinner, I will hunt you a hare tomorrow!”

“I’m not a child.” Qiao Jinniang smiled. “I’m way past the age when I liked hare.”

Fulu was surprised. “Don’t you know that roasted hare is a true delicacy?”

Qiao Jinniang: “…”

Fulu said, “My imperial cousin is good at roasting hare. Tomorrow I’ll ask him to roast a hare for you.”

Qiao Jinniang: “…”

Qiao Jinniang suddenly remembered when she was on an outing with that jerk in the Qingming Festival last year, they were trapped in a mountain by heavy rain.

The jerk felt that catching fish was too dangerous, so he caught a hare, preparing to roast it.

But hearing that she was born in the Year of the Rabbit, he let go of the hare and “ate” her in the cave instead…

When Qiao Jinniang remembered this, her face blushed red.

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