Clay's Kitchen : Chicken Recipes

Chicken Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Cheng-du Ji (Chengtu Chicken)

Recipe from: The Good Food of Szechwan
Servings: 4

Chengtu is the present capital of Szechwan. Strictly speaking, Cheng-du Ji should be prepared using only chicken, but it has become common practice to add bamboo shoots and tomatoes.

1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 ½ tablespoons rice wine
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 2 green onions
½ to 1 cup bamboo shoots
½ large tomato, or 1 small
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon hot bean sauce
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, ground
1 tablespoon ketchup, optional
5 tablespoons cooking oil
cooking oil, for deep frying

Cut the chicken into 1 ½ inch pieces. Mix the marinade by combining the starch with the rice wine and soy sauce. Mix with the chicken and marinate for at least 10 minutes. Cut the green onion into 1 inch lengths. Cut the bamboo shoot into thin slices about ⅔ inch wide, ⅛ inch thick and 1 inch long. Stem and halve the tomato, and cut it into thin wedges. Chop the ginger and garlic rather finely. In a bowl, mix the seasonings, first mixing the starch with the soy sauce and vinegar, adding sugar, salt and finally mixing in the sesame oil, ground Szechwan pepper and ketchup. Heat about ⅔ cup of the cooking oil in a wok until very hot. Add the chicken cubes and stir-fry until the chicken is white. Remove and drain. (If the heat source is inadequate, it may be preferable to cook the chicken a few pieces at a time, removing the cubes as they turn white. Heat 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil in the wok and stir-fry the bamboo shoot briefly. Remove and drain.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the cooking oil in the wok until very hot. Add the hot bean sauce, ginger, garlic and green onion. Stir-cook until you notice a distinct spicy smell and the ginger and garlic have absorbed the red color of the hot bean sauce. Add the prefried chicken and bamboo shoot. Stir briefly until everything is well mixed and heated. Give the seasoning mix a stir and add along with the tomato wedges. Stir briefly and let the tomatoes heat through. Check for salt and remove to a serving dish. Serve hot.


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