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Numbing And Hot Chicken


When my kids first saw this Numbing and hot chicken dish, they thought I had tweaked their favorite Kung Pao chicken dish. At first glance, it would seem that way. The color and overall look gave them the immediate notion that I had just replaced the cashew nuts with bell peppers here. Well, the clear rice vinegar used in the dish, instead of black vinegar, also contributed to the distinct taste difference between the two dishes. Simply delicious! According to excerpts from the cookbook, Numbing and hot chicken is a popular Hunanese dish. So, do try the recipe and have a great weekend!


Recipe adapted from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlop

Numbing And Hot Chicken

Ingredients

12 oz Boned Chicken Thighs or Breast Half, if you prefer, with skin
1 Small Red Bell Pepper, thin-skinned if possible
1 Fresh Red Chili, or 1 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
3 Scallions, white parts only
1 tsp Whole Sichuan Pepper
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 1/4 Cups Peanut Oil for deep-frying

Marinade
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Potato Flour mixed with 1 Tbsp cold water

Sauce
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Clear Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp Potato Flour
3 Tbsp Stock or Water

Method

Cut the chicken as evenly as possible into bite-size cubes. Place the chicken cubes in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients and mix well; set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Discard the stem and seeds of the pepper, and cut into small squares to complement the chicken. If using fresh chili, slice it thinly, discarding the stem and seeds. If scallions are slender, cut them into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch pieces, otherwise slice them on a steep angle. Crush the Sichuan pepper using a mortar and pestle. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in the wok over a high flame to 350-400˚F. Add the chicken and stir briskly for about 30 seconds, until the pieces have separated and have become pale; remove from the oil with a slotted spoon. Allow the oil to return to 350-400˚F, then fry the chicken again until golden; remove and set aside. Drain off all but 3 Tbsp of the oil.

Return the wok to the heat and, working quickly over a high flame, tip in the red bell pepper, fresh or dried chilies, scallions, and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry briefly until they are wonderfully fragrant.

Stir in the chicken. Give the sauce a stir and tip it in to the wok. Stir briskly as the sauce thickens. Finally, off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.


Comments

  1. I love the name of this dish :)
    So colorful - sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. at 1st, i thought that the heat factor for this dish would come from the sauce, but it seems that the chilli flakes and the chillies are gonna give the spiciness. maybe i should try this dish.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds really tasty! I always like the mouth numbing effect of sichuan peppercorns.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My hubs would love this. The hotter the better!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Cindy Khor: They're not that spicy. I would say, just nice.

    @Kevin: I like the numbing effect of sichuan peppercorns too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I make this a LOT, but I've altered the recipe a lot, too. I literally triple the amount of red bell peppers, throw in a big handful of dried whole Tien-Tsin chiles, and some soaked dried shredded black fungus - and after the initial frying of the chicken, I add that small hot red chile, except times four, and a couple of cloves of minced garlic and a chunk of minced fresh ginger. At the end, when you add the Sichuan pepper and sesame oil, I throw in a handful of roasted peanuts, too. That 12 oz of chicken now serves six easily - or stores and reheats beautifully. Such a great recipe - the vinegar is the secret, I think.

    ReplyDelete

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