Sichuan Bang Bang Chicken
You are going to want to head over to Amazon and order all of the ingredients that you don't already have in your pantry. There are plenary of substitutions for this recipe but you'll want the most authentic version of this.
This is a cold chicken dish that is so deliciously complex in flavor. There is so much going on. Salty, sweet, umami, tart and the chili sauce is fantastic!!!
This will serve two people.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (sub chicken breast)
4 slices ginger
Small-Batch Chili Oil
1/2 cup (113g) neutral oil, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, etc.
4 slices ginger
2 scallions, cut into 2" segments
1 star anise
1 dried bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick (optional)
3 tbsp Sichuan chili flakes (sub Gochugaru (Korean chili powder) or Italian crushed red pepper flake)
1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1/8 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder (sub 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper + 1/8 tsp ground coriander)
1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar (sub balsamic vinegar)
1/2 tbsp (1 1/2 tsp) sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt (sub 1/4 tsp table salt)
4 tbsp chili oil + 1 tbsp sediment (make small-batch chili oil or use your favorite)
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder (sub 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper + 1/8 tsp ground coriander)
1 tbsp Chinese sesame paste (sub 2 tsp tahini or peanut butter + 1 tsp toasted sesame oil)
1/2 English cucumber, julienned
1 scallion, cut on a bias
Toasted sesame seeds
You could also just put the chicken and sauce over rice. That would be delicious too!
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, add chicken, ginger, and scallion in a medium-sized saucepan. Add enough cold water to submerge the chicken with 1" of water.
2. Place on stove over medium heat. Keep cooking with the lid off, without stirring, until just barely simmering. The water should measure around 170-190F.
3. Flip chicken pieces over, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let the chicken sit in hot water for 8-10 minutes, until the internal temperature reads 165F for chicken thighs or 155F for chicken breast.
4. Remove chicken from water and set aside to cool.
Small-Batch Chili Oil
1. Toast chili flakes in the microwave by placing them on a small plate and spreading them into an even layer. Cook in microwave on high power for two 10 second increments, stirring in between. They should start smelling aromatic.
2. In a medium heat-proof bowl, combine toasted chili flakes and Sichuan peppercorn powder (or use black pepper + coriander, which will approximate the flavor but not the numbing sensation), sesame seeds, and five-spice powder.
3. In a small saucepan, add oil, ginger, scallion, and if using, star anise, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick.
4. Place on stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the ginger is golden and scallions are starting to turn brown. Turn off the heat and let the oil cool for 3 minutes.
5. After 3 mins, use a strainer to remove aromatics from the hot oil. The oil should measure about 155-165F at this point.
6. Immediately pour 1/3 of the oil over chili flake mixture while stirring. After ~30 seconds, pour another 1/3 of the oil into the chilli flake while stirring. Then wait another 30 seconds before pouring the remainder of the oil.
7. Let the chili oil cool and fully infuse. Cover and store at room temperature. It will taste even better the next day.
1. In a medium bowl, add vinegar and sugar. Mix until the sugar is pretty much fully dissolved. 2. Add in soy sauce and salt. Stir to combine. Taste the mixture and adjust.
3. Then, add chili oil (4 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp sediment), Sichuan peppercorn.
4. Finally, add in Chinese sesame paste (sub 2 tsp tahini or peanut butter + 1 tsp toasted sesame oil). Stir vigorously until the sesame paste is fully emulsified into the sauce. The sesame paste might lump up slightly. But if you keep whisking, everything will come together.
1. Julienne cucumbers by diagonally slicing into long slices and then cutting the slices into strips. Slice one scallion on a bias for garnish.
2. On the same cutting board, lightly pound each piece of chicken with a rolling pin to loosen the fibers.
3. Shred the chicken with your hands, trying to preserve long strands of chicken. You can also shred with two forks which will be quicker, but the texture won't be as nice.
4. Arrange cucumbers on the bottom of your serving plate. Place chicken over the cucumber base and arrange so that some cucumber shows around the side and the chicken is in an "attractive mound."
5. Pour sauce all over the chicken. Finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
Recipe from Sheldon Lynn
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