COOK: Delicious Chicken Recipe from Hunan Province

Photograph by ROCKYFS

A while back, I went to the library where I picked up the “Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook” by Fuschia Dunlap. After pretty much devouring the book, I decided to try out the Changde Clay-Bowl Chicken (chang de bo zi ji), the recipe for which you’ll find below.  The end result is beyond delicious.

To gather my ingredients I visited two Asian markets & a butcher shop (of sorts):

  1. Manila on Okeechobee & Haverhill
    Picked up the peanut oil & dried chiles
  2. Westgate & Military, in the Payless plaza there’s a little Vietnamese market, not too sure of the name
    Purchased the chili bean paste, Shaoxing wine & soy sauce
  3. Oxtail on Haverhill, just south of community blvd.
    I requested that the butcher chop one whole chicken for me, and from there also purchased a sexy piece of ginger as well as some garlic & cinnamon sticks.

Pretty much everything else can be picked up at your local grocery store.  I served this with some brown jasmine rice I already had at the house.

1 whole chicken (about 2 1/2 lb.)
a small handful dried chiles
10 garlic cloves, peeled
1-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
a couple of pieces cassia bark or 1 1/2-in. cinnamon stick)
1 tbsp. chili bean paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
1/4 tsp. dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp. light soy sauce
3 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1 1/2 in. pieces
a couple strips red or green bell pepper – or both
1-2 tsp. sesame oil
1 cup peanut oil for cooking

  1. If need be, cut the chicken into bite-size chunks.
  2. If you wish to make a very hot dish, cut the chiles into pieces, otherwise, leave them whole and set aside.
  3. Heat the wok over a high flame until smoke rises, then ad the peanut oil and heat until it reaches about 350°F. Add the chicken and deep-fry until it becomes pale and loses some of its water content, then remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Allow the oil to return to 350°F and fry the chicken again until it’s cooked through and golden.; set aside.  It’s best to do this in a couple of batches.
  4. Add the garlic cloves to the hot oil. Fry until fragrant & tinged with gold; set aside.
  5. Pour off  the oil. Clean the wok and return to the stove-top over a high heat until smoke rises, then add 3 tablespoons oil and swirl around. Tip in the ginger and cassia and fry until fragrant. Add the chili bean paste and continue to stir-fry briefly until just changing color.
  6. Quickly add the chicken and garlic, along with the stock, Shaoxing wine, soy sauces, and a little salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, over a medium flame for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time, to allow the flavors to penetrate the chicken. By this stage, the liquid will have reduced leaving a rich flavorful sauce.
  7. Add the peppers and then the scallions toward the end of the cooking time, so they are barely cooked, and drizzle the sesame oil over just before serving.

If you’d like to make your own everyday stock (xiang tang), combine any or all of the following: chicken carcasses, chicken wings, chicken bones, pork ribs, pork bones.

Cover generously with cold water & bring to a boil, skimming the surface as necessary.  Crush a piece of ginger and a couple of scallions.  When the foam stops rising from the bones, add the ginger & scallions. Partially cover the pan & simmer over a gentle heat for 2-3 hours. Strain before using or storing.

  1. Good info here, i’m definately going to give this a go. I have my own asian recipes too. Check it out if you have the time 🙂

  1. December 3rd, 2010

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