One of the most famous Szechuan style chicken dishes–poached chicken in chili sauce
The Chinese name is “口水鸡” (Kou Shui Ji), so it is sometimes translated into Saliva chicken directly. This name may sound quite weird or uncomfortable. Mouthwatering chicken is a better one. Whenever you get a chance to visit an authentic Szechuan restaurant, order it!!!
The short poaching cooking skill will make the chicken meat super tender and it is also used in Cantonese white cut chicken. After cooking, soak the chicken in iced water can tighten the skin. There are several important tips to make perfect Saliva chicken at home with tender texture and excellent Szechuan style mala flavor.
About the chicken
I would recommend using whole chicken (younger ones around 2 pounds) for this recipe as a whole chicken offers maximum Chicken skin (the best part of this dish).
Clean the chicken and remove feet and head. In a large pot, add chicken, green onion and 3-4 slices of ginger and cooking wine. Then pour enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the content to a boiling with medium fire and continue cooking for around 8 minutes (for longer ones, you may need 10-15 minutes). Turn off the fire, cover the lid and let the chicken stay for around 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken out and soak it with iced water. Turn over several times during the process until the chicken is completely cooled down. Cut chicken into chunks when it is completely cooled down to get smooth edges.
About the chili oil
Szechuan style chili oil is the soul of this dish. Store-bought ones are good enough!! Additionally, chili oil should be prepared firstly because the color of the red oil will become brighter after hours of resting. I list the ingredient for around 1 cup of oil. However we only need around 4 to 6 tablespoons in this recipe. You can use this chili oil in many other Szechuan style dishes like bon bon chicken, or Szechuan style chicken noodle salad.
If you want to get an authentic Sichuan style chili oil from whole peppers, check this.
If you love spicy chicken, check my favorite Chongqing Mala Chicken.
- 1 chicken , around 2 pound
- 4 ginger slices
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- Peanuts , toasted and crushed
- White sesame seeds , toasted
- 4-6 tablespoons Szechuan style chili oil
- 2 tablespoons black vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon cooking wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves , smashed
- 1/2 tablespoon minced green onion
- Minced coriander
In a small bowl, mix chili powder, Sichuan peppercorn, five spice powder and sesame seeds.
In a pan, add bay leaves, cumin, ginger slices and star anise, pour in around 1 cup of oil and heat until hot over slowest fire (if the spices are overheated, they become bitter). Discard all the spices and leave the oil only.
Pour the hot oil directly to the powder mixture in the small bowl. You will smell the strong aroma during the process. Set the Szechuan combined chili oil aside. I highly recommend you making the chili oil in the previous day so there are sometime for the spices mix together. Or if you do not have pepper flakes, check this post introducing how to make chili oil from whole chili peppers.
Clean the chicken and remove feet and head. In a large pot, add chicken, green onion and 3-4 slices of ginger and cooking wine. Then pour enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the content to a boiling with medium fire and continue cooking for around 8 minutes (see note 1 for the adjusting of the time needed). Turn off the fire, cover the lid and let the chicken stay for around 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, prepare enough iced water. Transfer the chicken out and soak it with iced water. Turn over several times during the process until the chicken is completely cooled down. Cut into chunks and lay in the serving bowl.
Mix around 4 to 6 tablespoons of chili oil with other ingredients to prepare the sauce.
Toast peanuts and white sesame in pan until aroma and then crush with a rolling pin or crusher.
Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with toasted peanuts and white sesame seeds and enjoy!
For larger chicken, lengthen the poach time but no longer than 15 minutes.
Learn Chinese via Chinese Food Menu
Saliva Chicken 口水鸡 kǒu-shuǐ-jī kǒushuǐ means saliva