Thursday, September 22, 2011

gung bao chicken

I've been making this recipe for years. It's very good, I promise! I usually triple the recipe so that we can eat it for left overs and then all I would need to make would be a vegetable dish to accompany the left overs. We usually have all the sauces needed at the house for this, so we only have to buy the chicken, which makes it a very economical dish for us.
Tip: If you can't find the Sichuan peppercorns (since they might be hard to come by), you can omit it. We had to order them online. I find that the dish, however,  is not all that different without the Sichuan peppercorns. Also, while the recipe calls for boned chicken, we prefer to leave the bones in the chicken. I think it adds more flavor, but it really just comes down to personal preference.

adapted from the Periplus Mini Cookbooks series, Spicy Sichuan Cooking

1lb boned fresh chicken meat, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 dried red chillies, cut in thirds
10 Sichuan peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 slices of ginger
3 spring onions (scallions) cut in 1 1/2 inch lengths

1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

3 tablespoons Sweet Thick Soy Sauce ( I highly recommend the brand ABC Kecap Manis. Found at most Asian grocery.)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

1. Place the chicken chunks in the bowl and pour the marinade ingredients over. Mix well with fingers and leave aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
2. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok (or pot) until hot, then add the cut dried chilies and allow them to scorch for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the Sichuan peppercorns, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry 30 seconds more.
4. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry quickly, turning frequently, until chicken changes color and gets firm, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the sauce, stir to blend all ingredients, cover with lid, lower heat to medium, and braise for 5 minutes. Remove lid, add spring onions, stir to mix with the chicken for 30 seconds, then remove to a serving dish.

If you leave the bones in the chicken, I find that you have to braise it a little longer than 5 minutes.

Serves 4

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