Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Sichuan Chicken - my way - again!



Carole's Chatter: Sichuan Chicken

So I got home and all I had were 3 chicken thighs in the freezer, an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, half a bell pepper, half a carrot, a tomato and some beans.  This is what I did:

First I sliced the vegetables and garlic – all pretty finely – the carrot in little julienne strips, same with the beans.  I like to do all the vegetables first before cutting up the meat to avoid any cross contamination.

Then I cut up the chicken into half inch or so cubes.  I put it in a bowl with a generous splosh of both soy sauce and fish sauce together with about a dessert spoonful of a hot chilli jam I had in the fridge (you could substitute any other sort of chilli sauce or even a few chilli flakes).  Then I added 2 teaspoons of Sichuan pepper and 2 teaspoons of white peppercorns ( I pounded it all up in my small mortar and pestle I use for spices).   It sat there only for about 15 minutes before cooking – but you could leave it for a couple of hours in the fridge if you wanted the flavours to meld more.  If you don’t like things too peppery – maybe this isn’t the recipe for you!  Or you could halve the quantity of pepper.

So to the cooking.  Vegetable oil in the pan – then a quick fry of the garlic slices, add the meat, once it has coloured a bit, add some golden syrup or brown sugar (say 1-2 tablespoons).  Then add the other vegetables in order from hardest to softest – ie carrot and onion first followed by the beans and bell pepper  - with the tomato going in only at the last minute.  Right at the end I added about a spoonful of limoncello – but a bit of lemon juice or lemon zest would work just as well.

While this is all cooking – and it only takes about 15 minutes all up – cook some noodles or rice.  I did noodles this time.

Serve by putting the roughly drained noodles into a large bowl, add the chicken mixture, sprinkle a bit of chopped parsley (or any other fresh green herb) on top along with some crispy onion (you can buy this from Asian stores – an optional extra would be fine without it).  The photo of this dish was taken before I put the crispy onions on because I almost forgot them.  It turned out really delicious which is why I thought I would share it with you.

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