Can I give a recipe 10 stars? How about a full constellation and a comet dashing through it? This recipe was sitting on my files for a while, but every weekend something would happen and prevent me from trying it. That all changed on a cold Sunday morning last month. You need to find a few special ingredients, but trust me, it will be more than worthy. A constellation and a comet worthy.
BON BON CHICKEN
(slightly modified from Serious Eats)
3 skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup Shaoxing wine
2 green onions, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
2 + 1/2 teaspoons whole Sichuan peppercorns
1 pound cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Place the chicken in a large pot. Add the wine green onions, 3/4 of the ginger, 1 teaspoon of the Sichuan peppercorns, and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 3 1/2 minutes. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool for a few minutes, then shred the chicken with your fingers or a couple of forks.
Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Sriracha, the rest of the Sichuan peppercorn, rest of the ginger, sugar, and cilantro in a blender. Process until smooth.
Scatter the cucumber slices on a plate. Top with the shredded chicken, and pour on the sauce. Garnish with more cilantro, if you want.
to print the recipe, click here
This recipe delivered all it promised and a little more! I poached three chicken breasts, hoping to have some leftover for a couple of lunches, because I did not think Phil would care for it. He usually prefers to have a yogurt smoothie for lunch, with a Wasa cracker and peanut butter, something along those lines. But then, he tasted a piece of chicken, and his plans for lunch changed on the spot. No leftovers, we polished this big bowl of deliciously poached chicken with a dressing that was like an explosion of contrasting flavors: the sesame oil was there, so was the ginger. But the black vinegar, the Szechuan peppercorns, those took this dish to unprecedented levels of goodness. Poached chicken never ever tasted so great! Please, make this recipe. Make double amount, because you will be going back for more. Very refreshing, very light, but at the same time it will leave you satisfied, probably because the taste is so intense. I cannot wait to make this again, and again, and again…
ONE YEAR AGO: Seafood Extravaganza Pasta
TWO YEARS AGO: A Pearfect Drink
THREE YEARS AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure
FOUR YEARS AGO: Paris, Je t’aime