This spicy Sichuan specialty is a great quick and easy dish to make as long as you have a few key ingredients on hand like the chili bean paste and rice wine. Using only 1/4 cup of oil, the recipe is healthy as well. It’s earthy, fiery flavor is strangely reminiscent of deep-fried chicken–maybe because the meat develops a tasty crust.
Fried chicken remains the most popular menu item at most New York store-front chinese establishments (we call ’em “ghetto chinese”), but they sure don’t make this dry-fried Sichuan dish. So why not make it at home?
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. Chicken meat (thighs, breasts) preferably on bone
3 whole scallions, sliced diagonally
1/4 cup peanut oil
6-8 dried chilies
1 tsp. whole Sichuan pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili bean paste
1 Tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
1 tsp. dark soy sauce
salt to taste
2 tsp. sesame oil
1.) Wash and cut chicken into 1-inch chunks.
2.) Heat wok. Add oil when it starts smoking. Add chicken and stir fry over high heat for 4-5 minutes (until most liquid has evaporated)
3.) Turn heat down to medium and add chilies and Sichuan pepper. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add chili bean paste, Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, and salt. Continue stirring over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is dry, toasty, and fragrant.
4.) Add vegetables and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until tender. Check salt.
5.) Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil and serve with rice.
Serves 2 with one other dish and rice
[Adapted from Land of Plenty by Fusia Dunlop]