Thursday 9 February 2012

Szechwan Chili Chicken

I bought a huge bag of dried Szechwan chilies from the market a few months ago; in honor of Chinese New Year I made a Szechwan chicken dish. I tried a dish like this in a Szechwan restaurant in Hong Kong. The dish from the restaurant had deep fried battered chicken, so I have made a similar but healthier dish. The dried chilies add a smoky, spicy flavor to the chicken.

The chili oil is homemade - it's very simple to make. Mix good quality vegetable oil and dried chili seeds together, and let sit for a few days. (The oil will take on the spicy essence of the chilies.) You can strain the oil afterwards if you like, but I usually just leave the seeds in; they add extra flavor and spice to my cooking.

serves 2, prep 10 min, cook 10 min
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons homemade chili oil
6 cloves of garlic
2 fingers fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Szechwan chili flakes
6 boneless skinless chicken fillets
2 large handfuls of Szechwan chilies

Peel ginger and garlic; slice finely. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat all oil in wok; add garlic, ginger and chilies, and stir fry for about a minute; add chicken. Stir fry for a few more minutes until chicken is cooked and golden in color.

I served the Szechwan Chili Chicken on a bed of mixed wild and brown rice, accompanied with steamed choy sum. You can eat the chiles if you are brave! 

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