I got a bit carried away in Waterstones today and somehow three food related books slipped into my hand, sideled across to the cashier and then popped into a carrier bag that followed me home. The books look very cool and I hope to blog about them later when I’ve had chance to read them a little more. One of the books I bought was Ken Hom’s ‘Complete Chinese Cookbook’, I wanted something Chinese and didn’t want to ring the local takeaway and wanted something to show off on here! I was flicking through it in the bookshop when I stumbled across something I thought I had most of the ingredients for and looked relatively simple to pull off, the dish is called ‘Fragrant Crispy Chicken’ and the main ingredient chicken thighs. Once out of the shop, I found myself a little corner in the Whitgift Centre in Croydon and quickly scanned the recipe for additional ingredients I needed to buy. The only extras I needed were, szechuan peppercorns and five spice powder so I pootled along to the supermarket and picked these up.
When I got home, I began to read the recipe in more detail and realised it involve deep frying, twice cooking, and a bit of hammering, and by this point I was getting hungry so I decided to adapt it to suit me. The result was very tasty and well worth a go.
Chicken thighs, skinless and boneless – though I think there could be scope for crispy skin action if you had these with the skin on.
1 teaspoon of five spice powder
A teaspoon of szechuan peppercorns, dry roasted and crushed (i forgot to crush mine)
4 tablespoons of Shaosing wine
A good shake of Tamari soy, if your not a coeliac use the normal stuff, Ken says use a bit of both dark and light, but like I said I’m adapting
A tablespoon of sesame oil
A thumb size piece of ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, grated (crushed whatever)
Put the chicken in a bowl, cover with the other ingredients and mix together with hands. I think this is where its best to leave it in the fridge for an hour or two but like I said before I was hungry so I left mine for about 5min then got on with it. Heat up a frying pan until super hot, add some oil, spread out the thighs flat in the pan and then top with a circle or square of greaseproof paper and a big heavy pot filled with water to flatten and weigh down the chicken so it goes crusty on the heated side. Cook for 5 min or so a side, squashing each time with the pan until dark brown and crusty. I served mine with some plain boiled rice and some sweet chilli sauce. I was contemplating vegetables but I scalded myself during the rice cooking and just wanted to eat something to distract myself from the throbbing.