a delicious and tender Sichuan chicken dish
We want you to learn how to make Strange-flavour Chicken – Guai wei ji – 怪味鸡. This delicious chicken dish is extremely more-ish and packed with flavour. The key is to use a young chicken (zi ji – 仔鸡). The dish is traditionally served cool or at room temperature. Hot is good too, though.
large piece of leek – bash with cleaver then chop into about 3 pieces
ginger (half the amount of leek) – bash and roughly chop
3g Sichuan pepper (1:1 ratio of red and green Sichuan peppercorns is best)
2 x dried chillies (cut in half crossways)
1 x star anise
10g shaoxing wine
2L water (yes, 2000 ml)
1 x full chicken leg – use a young chicken (zi ji, 仔鸡), skin on
2g salt – 盐
5g light soy sauce – 生抽
3-4g sesame paste – 芝麻酱
6-8g sesame oil – 香油
20g sugar – 糖
2-3g ground chili – from the bottom of your Sichuan chili oil (see recipe here)
2g ground Sichuan peppercorns (best 1:1 ratio of red and green Sichuan peppercorns) – 花椒面
15-17g rice vinegar – 米醋
3g minced garlic (peel, smash, chop finely) – 大蒜
3g minced ginger (peel, chop finely) – 姜
20g Sichuan chili oil (the oil from the top of your Sichuan chili oil) (see recipe here)
5g Sichuan peppercorn oil (see recipe here)
Finely sliced green onions, to serve
- Place the broth ingredients in the wok and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to increase the flavour. Holding the chicken by the top of the leg bone, ladle over the boiling liquid to scorch the chicken skin. The skin will curl up a little. Reduce heat to medium, place leg into liquid in wok – skin-side up – cover wok with lid and allow to simmer for around 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat at this time and allow chicken to continue sitting in the hot water for about 15 minutes, until cooked through.
- Make the sauce in a large bowl by first combining the salt, soy sauce, sesame paste and sesame oil. Mix well. Next add the sugar, stir, then the ground chili (from oil), and ground Sichuan peppercorns. Mix well. Add the vinegar (this should be a little less than the amount of sugar). Mix. Next add in the garlic and ginger and stir again. Finally stir in the chili oil (from the top of the oil) and the peppercorn oil. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from wok and set aside to cool. Once cool, slice the chicken into 5mm-thick pieces, across the bone. Place on plate, pour over sauce (giving it a final stir as you do), then sprinkle over green onion to serve.