Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Origin - China
Da pan ji (Big Plate Chicken) is an iconic dish from Xinjiang region of West China. The three main ingredients of the dish are chopped chicken, potato, and steamed "belt noodles". Though looks straightforward, the dish presents rather rich flavor combined with stir fried chicken, potato, hand-made noodle, onion, dried red pepper bell pepper, and almost a dozen other ingredients.
The birth of Da pan ji can be traced back to the 1980s. A local chef Li ran his restaurant at Shawan county of Xinjinag Province. Li was good at making Spicy Diced Chicken (辣子鸡丁）but the guests were not satisfied with the portion of the dish. One day, some starving construction workers came to Li's restaurant, asked him to use a whole chicken for the dish, and requested for additional items to make the dish for filling. Li then added potato and noodles, hoping to feed the workers' big appetites. When the dish was done, he realized the original serving plate was too small for his latest invention, so he grabbed the biggest plate from his kitchen and decided to name the dish Big Plate Chicken.
Another version of this dish is to use Nang(馕), a local baked bread instead of noodles to serve as the holder of the dish (馕包大盘鸡). When the Nang get to be consumed at the very end, it has absorbed much of the broth, turning into flavorful but still crispy staple food.