Recipe Mouthwatering Chicken 口水雞
Ok - At first glance the name of the dish may make a few English speakers balk. What kind of chicken...? Saliva chicken...?
But as it is a dish from a part of the world where Mandarin is spoken, there has been a sort of "lost in translation" moment here. The name is 口水雞, it's literal direct to English translation comes to Saliva Chicken, but in Mandarin the name means chicken dish that makes my mouth water.. mouth watering chicken. I mean. Just the name makes me salivate... What?! Yes please.
I was on a asian buzz a while ago and decided this was the dish I wanted to tackle. I scoured the web and old recipe books and had sneaky chats with our local Chinese restaurant chef. Taking inspiration from a few and putting in more chilli (I like heat) this is the dish I came up with. With the exception of waaaaaay too many peanuts, and too little heat... I was impressed with the final outcome. Large bowl of rice and you're golden. I served this dish with Chinese veggies and a stiry fry pork dish. Yum.
2 julienned spring onions 1 knob of sliced ginger 1 1/2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns 1 whole chicken (ask your butcher to gut and clean it) Shiao Xing wine - a good lug. Water
Ingredients for Sauce:
3 Tblsp finely chopped roasted peanuts (like I said you could dial this way down... even just a 'sprinkle' would suffice) 1 Tblsp roasted sesame seeds 2 Tblsp red chili flakes or dried red chilis, seeded and chopped (If you are anything like me - you could leave the seeds in for extra heat, and seed them if you've got company) Pinch of salt 1/2 cup canola oil 5 cloves of sliced garlic 1 star anise 1 small cinnamon stick 3 julienned spring onions 1 knob of sliced ginger 1 Tblsp sesame paste 2 Tblsp soy sauce 1 Tblsp rice wine vinegar Pinch of sugar 3 cloves chopped garlic 2 Tblsp chicken stock
Method: Sauce: In a small sauce pan or large bowl place your peanuts, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and salt. Heat the canola oil. Pop in the star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, spring onion and garlic. Be sure to give these ingredients a bit of a knock about before dropping them into the pan so to bring out the flavours. Once the oil has heated up, and the ingredients are giving off a gorgeous aroma pour it directly over the bowl of dry ingredients and cover. Let this steep for 1 hour - or overnight. Right before you use it, pour in soy sauce, sesame paste, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and your stock and mix well.
Chicken: Place your large stock pot on the heat. Throw in the spring onion, peppercorn and ginger. Let these sizzle a bit and the pour in a good amount of Shiao Xing wine (or cooking wine). 1 cup is enough. Let the alcohol cook off before adding your whole chicken. Top it off with water - just to that the chicken is immersed. Boil until chicken is tender. Depending on chicken size and your hob may take between 20min - 1hour, so cut the chicken through the thickest part (usually the inner thigh) and make sure it is no longer pink. Lift it out of the stock and let it rest 5-8 minutes.
Once rested, chop it up and pour the sauce over. Serve with white fluffy rice.
If cooking for 1 or 2 people, use pre-cut chicken pieces so that you don't have to buy a full chicken. Make plenty of sauce in advance, as this keeps well in the fridge and goes with almost anything else! Stir fries, noodles, steamed vegetables... your imagination is your limit. Increase or decrease chilli flakes to your taste. This recipe is very tame for my tastes - I usually leave the chilli seeds in and almost double this amount. Taste as you go! Don't burn yourself.