Chengdu Chicken, so named after the city of
capital of Szechuan province. A deliciously spiced Szechuan
A dish regularly seen at our dining table. Mr. Grump eats very little in the way of vegetables, particularly if green. Spinach, however is one of the healthier vegetables he actually loves. So any dishes that contain this beautiful green vegetable, gives me the perfect excuse to get it on the table.
Serves 3- 4 as a main dish, or 4 - 6 as part of a multi-course meal.
2 large skinless chicken breast (finely sliced)
1 spring onion (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed)
2 slices ginger (peeled)
2-3 large handfuls fresh spinach (washed)
Sea salt to season spinach
1 tbsp hot bean paste
½ tsp sesame oil, or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground Szechuan pepper
5 tbsp vegetable oil (divided 1 + 4)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine or sherry
Pinch of ground white pepper
¼ tsp sesame oil
3 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar (red rice vinegar if possible)
1 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp cornstarch mixed in 2 tablespoons water
Place marinade ingredients into a bowl, stir well and add the chicken slices. Stir well to coat in marinade. Set aside for at least 20 minutes (longer if possible).
In the meantime, combine the rice wine or dry sherry, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. In a separate small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch with the water. Set aside.
Heat a wok and when hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil. Add the spinach and sprinkle a bit of salt of top. As soon as the spinach wilts (a few seconds), remove it and set aside.
Clean out the wok and heat 4 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken, stir-frying continually to keep them from sticking. When the chicken changes colour and is nearly 80 percent cooked, remove from the wok and set aside. Leave 2 tablespoons oil in the wok.
Add the garlic, ginger and hot bean paste. Stir-fry briefly until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add the sauce mixture to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute, re-stir the cornstarch slurry mixture and stir into the sauce until thickened. Stir in the spinach, green onion and sesame oil. Sprinkle over the freshly ground Szechuan pepper.
Transfer to serving dish immediately.