This recipe is loosely based on this one at Food52.com but has been altered quite a bit.
- 5 chicken thighs, boned and skinned
- 1 T beaten egg
- 1/4 C corn starch
- pinch salt
- 2 t rice wine (chinese cooking wine OR sake will work here)
- 2 t Japanese white rice vinegar
- 2 t grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Remove as much visible skin and fat from the thighs as possible and cut into 1″ cubes. This is much easier if the thighs are slightly frozen. Put into a large bowl and add all the marinade ingredients and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or do early in the day and place in the fridge until ready to fry.
- 1/2 C unsalted, roasted peanuts
- 12 scallions, chopped into 1-inch pieces, dark green separated from white/light green parts
- 2-3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange and/or yellow, diced into 1″ inch squares
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 t grated ginger
- 8-12 dried red chiles, crushed with your hand
- 4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, semi-coarsely ground
- 1 C water or low-sodium stock and/or rice wine
- 3 T dark soya sauce, I like a tamari here (all-soya Japanese soya sauce)
- 2 T brown sugar
- 3 T Chinese black rice vinegar or 3/4 T each of white wine , red wine and balsamic vinegars
- 2 T cornstarch
Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
Fry the chicken in 3-4 batches in the bottom of a very hot wok (425°F+) until light brown and crispy in about 1/4 C peanut or canola oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Clean out wok and bring back up to a high temperature. In a couple T of high-temperature, neutral oil (peanut, safflower, canola), very quickly sauté the bell peppers, peanuts, white parts of the scallions, garlic, ginger, half the Sichuan peppercorns and chilli peppers until the bell peppers are seared but still very crunchy. Add back in the chicken to reheat and then add in the sauce, adding water/stock/rice wine as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Add in the green parts of the scallions and remaining Sichuan peppercorns just before serving. Serve with steamed rice and garlic sautéed green beans or pea pods. Serves 5-6