Wednesday, January 20, 2010

CSA week six - Szechuan clementine chicken

Nothing novel or exotic here, just a more authentic alternative to the recipe in the newsletter for the same dish. There are a few variations on this particular recipe on-line and I think I've worked my way back to the original at At least that appears to be where it first appeared on the web, but I think it likely had a former life on paper somewhere. I made an alteration in the directions to bring it even closer to the traditional method so this is a new variation on the theme.

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon dry rice wine
1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 green onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 Tablespoon dry rice wine
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon hot bean sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoons peanut oil
5 small dried hot red chiles
2 Tablespoons clementine peel, torn into 1 inch pieces

1. Cut up your chicken and toss with the wine and cornstarch. Let marinate 30 minutes.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients.

3. Heat a wok to smoking, add the oil and then the chiles and peel. Stir fry briefly until they darken and become aromatic. Add chicken and marinade. Stir fry 1 minute until chicken is cooked through. Add sauce. Stir fry 30 seconds until sauce is thickened and bubbling.

Remove the chiles and peel before serving with a big bowl of white rice.

This is almost right, but the flavor has nasty bitter notes from burt orange oil. I should have added the peel with the sauce instead of blackening it with the peppers. Oddly that's one thing the newsletter recipe kept traditional so it's going to suffer from the same problem. ... There may actually be a problem with these clementines too. I've just tried the fruit and they've got the same bitter edge to them. Ech.

I added a little more sugar to the dish to compensate for the bitterness; It doesn't fix the problem, so I don't think I'm going to be keeping the leftovers, but I can just about look past the bitterness. The other flavors are, I think, just about right. I really want to try this recipe again with peel from extra-sweet oranges added late in the recipe (and maybe with a few more chilies). I think it'll be dead on traditional Szechuan and really tasty.


kat said...

It sounds tasty but I know what you mean about getting bitter clementines, I've had a few of those lately

LaDivaCucina said...

Hardly worth eating.....mine were sooo sour.