sichaun dry-fried chicken

my favorite spicy dish at grand sichuan is the guizhou chicken. perfect crunchy pieces of chicken flavored to spicy perfection with additional vegetables to complement its texture.

since i can’t go to the restaurant every day – and it doesn’t deliver to my hood – i’m often craving for this dish! so i went online to see if anyone has come up with a recipe similar to my obsession and i found something close.

the trickiest part of the recipe will be to get the sichuan chili/peppers as most spice stores won’t carry it. i made it with a few substitutions so unfortunately it misses the specific sichuan flavor. but, with it still is a very tasty dish when you can’t have the real thing! this will be the first thing i make again with the right spices when i hit an asian market soon!

Ingredients

  • 2 celery stalks, outer stems peeled
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots, chopped into 1-inch long slices
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, chopped into 1-inch chunks or long slices
  • 3 scallions, ends trimmed
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 8 dried hot red chiles (preferably Sichuan chiles)
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns – or –
    2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns + 1/3 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chili bean paste – or –
    2 teaspoons miso paste + 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine – or –
    1 tablespoon medium-dry sherry – or –
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium dark soy sauce
  • sea salt, to taste – if needed
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Preparation

Slice celery at steep angle into ½-inch slices. Set aside and toss with pinch of salt. Slice scallions at steep angle into ½-inch slices. Transfer to same bowl as celery.

Pour oil into large wok set over high heat. When smoking, add chicken. Stir-fry until chicken has lost much of its water, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, and add chiles and Sichuan pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chili bean paste, and stir well. Cook until it stains the oil red, about 10 seconds. Add vinegar and dark soy sauce. Cook, stirring often, until chicken looks dry and is very fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add celery, bamboo shoots and scallions, and stir-fry until just tender, one to two minutes. Turn off heat, pour in sesame oil, and season with salt to taste – if needed. Stir well, and serve with rice.

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original recipe from Serious Eats: Dry-Fried Chicken

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