Boiled chicken slices, also known as soft-boiled chicken and braised chicken in broth, is a traditional famous dish in Nanning. Originated from the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the top ten famous dishes for family banquets to celebrate festivals and for traditional wedding banquets in Nanning in the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China. It is also a necessary gift for sacrifice and gift-giving. In Nanning, there is a folk saying that goes, “There is no banquet without chicken.”
The word “chicken” has the same pronunciation with that of “auspiciousness” and “sacrifice” as “Ji” in Chinese, so people have become accustomed to eating chicken in the Chinese New Year and they look forward to having “good luck” in the coming year. People have continued this folk custom and traditional culture till today through the way of eating chicken in the Chinese New Year. In addition, in traditional wedding customs, “nacai” means that the man’s family come and formally bring up proposal of marriage to the woman’s family. Gifts should be presented during the marriage proposal. In ancient times, a pair of geese was taken as a gift, but later it developed into a pair of live chickens. The chickens represent vitality and fierceness, and also stand for the phoenix, with the meaning of a happily married couple.