Crispy chicken with chili sauce, known in Chinese as 椒麻雞 is a dish that my grandpa cooked for me often when I was young. I always helped grandpa to grind the Sichuan peppers for this dish with a mortar and pestle. This dish always brings back my earliest kitchen memories. Grandpa used to pan fry the Sichuan peppers first and then give to me to grind. He always told me this method of preparing Sichuan peppers will make the flavour of the pepper stronger and taste much better.
Even now, mortars and pestles still play a very important part in my cooking. It’s a versatile tool and is much cheaper than a hand grinder. You can buy it in a lot of shop.
As you can imagine with the Sichuan peppers, this dish tastes a little bit spicy. You can adjust the percentage of Sichuan peppers and chilis if you can’t eat food that’s too spicy. Here is my little suggestion before you start grinding the Sichuan pepper. Heat up a frying pan or wok without oil and stir-fry the Sichuan pepper at the lowest heat first. Once you start to smell the fragrance then turn off the gas and start grinding it. Don’t burn the Sichuan pepper or the sauce will taste bitter and damage the whole dish.
People boil the chicken for this dish in real Sichuan cuisine but grandpa knew I loved fried chicken (You know, kids love fried chicken. I’m not exceptional lol) so he always fried the chicken for me. This dish works both ways, but I chose fried chicken today because my husband loves it too.
2 chicken legs, de-bone them
2 spring onions, chop finely
1 fresh chilli, remove seed first then chop finely
2 gloves garlic, grate finely
1~2 fresh coriander bunches (including leaves and stalk), chop finely
2 tablespoons sweet potato starch or potato starch and 2 tablespoons flour. You can choose which one you prefer
Seasonings and ingredients for marinade the chicken:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
¼ teaspoon pepper powder
1 spring onion, chop finely
2 thin slices ginger, chop finely
½ teaspoon sugar
Seasonings for Chili sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper powder
½ teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, add ½ teaspoon more sugar if you use white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
- De-bone chicken leg and marinade with the seasonings and ingredients for 30 minutes.
- Mix all the seasonings for spicy sauce with spring onion, chilli, garlic, coriander. Mix them evenly and leave for at least15 minutes.
- Coat the chicken with sweet potato powder. Heat up a wok with 2~3 cups of oil. The oil temperature should be around 150℃ and deep fry the chicken at a low heat for 5 minutes. Take out the chicken and heat up the oil again with full gas power. Deep fry the chicken until it’s crispy with a slightly golden colour.
- Place the chicken on a plate and pour the dressing on the top to serve.
Credits: Preparation photos were taken by myself but final photos were taken by Chris at: http://www.chrisradleyphotography.com