Posted on Mon 28th October 2019
Sichuan or Szechuan Chicken a perfectly balanced dish with a unique taste from the Sichuan peppercorns
- ½ onion
- 1 red pepper
- 400g boneless chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bird’s-eye chilli
- 1 spring onion
- 2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 10 dried red chillies
- 200g cashew nuts
- 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- a large pinch of Chinese five-spice
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons cornflour
- 2 teaspoons chilli paste or chilli bean paste
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine
3 tablespoons rice wine
1. Slice the onion and red pepper into fine matchsticks and the chicken into 3cm-wide strips. Put the chicken into a small mixing bowl, add the marinade ingredients and, using your hands, massage the pieces until they are evenly coated.
2. Finely chop the garlic and bird’s-eye chillies, and finely slice your spring onion. Crush the Sichuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or ramekin.
3. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: place your sliced onion at 12 o’clock, then arrange the peppers, dried chillies, chicken bowl, crushed peppercorns, garlic, bird’s-eye chillies, sauce bowl, cashew nuts and spring onions clockwise around your plate.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot. Add the onions, red peppers and dried red chillies and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned and slightly softened.
5. Reduce the heat to medium (so as not to burn the onions), push the veg to the side of the wok and add ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil to the centre.
6. Bring the wok back to smoking point, add the chicken and stir-fry for 3–5 minutes until golden brown on all sides.
7. Reduce the heat to medium, add the crushed peppercorns and garlic to the wok and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, then add the bird’s-eye chillies and sauce and continue to stir-fry over medium-high heat for another 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced and is sticking to the chicken.
8. Add the cashew nuts and cook for a final 30–60 seconds, tossing the wok to combine all the ingredients well. Tip onto a large plate and scatter over the spring onion to finish. Serve.