Cold Sichuan-style chicken
Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins (plus cooling, chilling)
Serves 6-8 as a shared dish
“This dish is based on the Sichuan dish of cold chicken coated in a hot and numbing sauce,” says Eatable’s Lisa Featherby. “In Sichuan this flavour profile is known as ma la, it’s the distinctive numbing of the Sichuan peppercorn that produces a very interesting flavour profile. The recipe is inspired by a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe for Liang Ban Ji. Here, we’ve added extra aromatics and peanuts to the dish and served the chicken pieces whole, rather than shredding the meat as a salad. We love the combination of spicy sauce with cold chicken here, which would suit a hot or cold day. This dish uses a whole chicken so is designed as a large dish to be shared around a table, and is perfect served with steamed rice and some smacked garlic cucumber on the side, though any leftovers can be shredded and turned into a cold chicken salad the next day.”
1 chicken (1.5 kg)
80ml (1/3 cup) light soy sauce
60ml (¼ cup) Chinkiang (black) vinegar
Pinch caster sugar
2-3 tsp ground roasted Sichuan peppercorns, to taste
3 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp sesame oil, to serve
Green shallots, thinly sliced, to serve
Roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, to serve
250ml canola oil
30g coarsely chopped dried red chillies
1. Place chicken into a large pot to fit completely. Cover with cold water and then bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, skim scum from the surface and simmer for 3 minutes. Turn heat off, then leave chicken to cool completely in liquid, then plunge into iced water to chill (20 minutes) or refrigerate until required. Chicken may be a little pinkish inside, which is how it should be. If you want to eliminate this, you can cut through the joint between the leg and breast meat to allow for heat to penetrate into the chicken more.
2. For chilli oil, combine oil and chillies in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until chillies are lightly toasted (2-3 minutes). Strain and set oil and chillies aside separately, then when cooled, blend to combine and set aside. Remove chilli sediment to taste. You’ll have more than you need, but oil keeps well in the refrigerator for a month.
3. Joint chicken and cut into small pieces. Stir soy, vinegar, Sichuan pepper, ginger, sesame oil and 3-5 tbsp chilli oil (more oil is good, depending on taste) in a bowl and mix to combine. Spoon over chicken. Scatter with peanuts and shallots and serve.
Recipe Lisa Featherby. Image by Eatable.