Another recipe from the Hunan cookbook I’ve been working through. It was quite a lot blander than I had expected, with very little vinegar kick – maybe I need a rice vinegar with more oomph? But we’ve been trying to eat lightly during the week and this certainly fit the bill. One nice side product was the broth from poaching the chicken. Part of it went into the final stirfry, but I also used it to cook chard for a side dish, which made for wonderfully flavorful greens. I also froze some of it to use later.
This struck me as a good “gentle” dinner to make when you’re feeling a bit frail.
from The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop
- 4 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on) or one small chicken cut into pieces
- 2 inch piece ginger, cut in half
- 3 scallions
- 1 fresh hot chile
- 3 dried chiles
- 2 tsp Shaoxing wine or sherry
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp whole Sichuan pepper or Sichuan pepper oil
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp cornstarch stirred into 2 tsp cold water
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Bring a quart of water to a boil and add the chicken pieces, half the ginger and one scallion (lightly crushed). Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and cool, then shred/cut into long pieces with the grain. It won’t quite be cooked through. You can add the bones and skin back into the poaching liquid to make stock.
Sliver the fresh chile and remaining ginger and scallions. Heat a spoonful of peanut oil, add the fresh and dried chiles, ginger, and Sichuan pepper and cook until fragrant but not burning. Add the chicken and stir-fry, splashing wine around the edges, then add the vinegar, Sichuan pepper oil (if using) and salt. Pour in a half cup or so of the poaching liquid. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer. Add the cornstarch and scallions, cook briefly to thicken, finish with the sesame oil and serve with rice or noodles.