Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spicy Szechuan Chilli Chicken

Bob likes Szechuan food (as long as it is not absurdly hot). In Summer we will go to a small Szechuan eating joint in town called Granny’s Garden (now changed to Happy Time) in Dominion Road. Our favourites include Spicy Chicken and Fried Green Beans.
However, in Winter when the weather is wet and cold (like it is now) we’d rather stay at home and eat in. Bob had been hassling me to try cooking our own for a while. I had googled and searched for the recipes. A lot of recipes are for stir fry with sauce which is not what we are after. We like ours dry and crispy. Eventually, I have found this recipe from My Kitchen Snippets and voi la! This recipe is quite close to what we have had at Happy Time’s but I have tweaked it a bit to replicate theirs.
My Spicy Szechuan Style Chilli Chicken (adapted from My Food Snippets’ Recipe)
2 chicken breast fillets or 3-4 boneless thighs, skin removed & diced
1 Tbs Dry Sherry
Soy sauce, salt & pepper to taste (I also use Chicken Stock Powder)
1 egg white
2 Tbs Corn Flour
10 -15 small dried chillies, cut in halves, seeds removed (for the brave ones you can leave 1 or 2 intact )
½ Red or Yellow capsicum, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Ginger root about small thumb size, peeled and minced
1-2 spring onion, sliced
Chopped Coriander leaves for garnish (you can leave 2-3 leaves intact for decoration)
2 Tbs Szechuan pepper (you can find it in Asian Groceries –it is often labelled as fragrant pepper), toasted and crushed
Canola Oil for deep frying
Marinate the chicken in dry sherry, soy sauce, salt and pepper and rest in the fridge, about an hour will do.
Heat the oil in the wok (I use my Scanpan Wok – it is such a dream. I will talk about it later) on medium high heat. Add egg white and then corn flour to the chicken and stir well. Deep fry the chicken pieces until golden and crisp in two batches. You might have to separate them a bit in the wok while frying. Drain and put them on the paper towel lined plate.
Discard the oil but two table spoons in the wok, add minced garlic, ginger and dry chillies and fry until fragrant then add capsicum. Stir fry for a bit further – do not let the dry chillies burn. Adjust the heat if you need to as garlic and dry chillies can brown quite quickly. Add the chicken to the wok and season, you only need a little bit more salt or soy sauce at this stage as the chicken has been marinated. Add Szechuan pepper and spring onion, stir well and remove from heat. Put the chicken on the plate and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with jasmine rice.

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