Szechuan Chicken in broth

Serves 4

Chicken (boneless small pieces from leg) – 750 gm

For marinade
Corn flour – 3 tbsp
Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) – 1 tbsp
Water – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste

For broth
Spring onion (chopped, both green and white parts) – 1.5 cups
Star anise (whole) – 2
Dry chilli (diagonally cut into medium pieces) – 2 tbsp
Sichuan peppercorn (crushed) – slightly less than 1 tbsp
Garlic (small cube cut) – 3 tbsp
Ginger (small cube cut) – 1.5 tbsp
Chilli bean sauce – 1.5 tbsp
Water – as required
Vegetable/Sunflower oil – 8 tbsp
Salt and sugar (preferably custard sugar i.e. very thin granule) – to taste

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients with the chicken and keep aside for around 10 minutes.
2. Heat 7 tbsp of oil in wok. Keep high heat and tilt the wok so that the oil spreads all over the inner surface.
3. Add spring onion, 1.5 tbsp of dry chilli, 0.5 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn, garlic and ginger and continuously stir fry until aroma comes out.
4. Add chilli bean sauce and stir until red oil comes out in wok.
5. Add sufficient amount of water in wok with an estimation that when chicken will be added to wok, all the chicken pieces will be completely submerged in the water.
6. Cover the wok lid and keep for 15 minutes in low heat.
7. Remove the cover and add marinated chicken to wok. Mix once and set all the chicken pieces under water. Cover the wok lid and keep in low heat for another 15 minutes.
8. Remove the lid and check reddish oily part of the broth accumulated around the circumference of the content.
9. Check if the chicken is completely boiled. If not, keep in low heat and covered for some more time.
10. Adjust the salt and sugar.
11. Again increase the heat to high and let the broth boil. Stir slowly time to time so that the chicken does not get stuck at the bottom of the wok.
12. After few minutes, the oily part of the broth will increase and water part will be decreased (as it evaporates).
13. Keep tasting and remove from heat when there is no watery taste in the broth. Put in a serving bowl.
14. In wok, heat the remaining oil and add the remaining dry chilli and Sichuan peppercorn. Stir fry quickly.
15. Spread the stir fried dry chilli and Sichuan peppercorn on top of the chicken (put in the serving bowl).
16. Dish out and serve hot immediately.

Note: All the quantities of the ingredients mentioned here are relative and tentative. It may vary based on preferences of individuals in some cases.


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