Saturday, May 31, 2008

Szechuan Beaten Chicken

Szechuan Beaten Chicken
serves 4

2 chicken quarters
1 cucumber, seeded if necessary
and cut into matchsticks
For the sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped
spring onions
1 teaspoon red chilli oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons smooth peanut
butter, creamed with a little
sesame oil (see note)

• Bring 1 litre/13/4pt water to a rolling boil in a wok or a large heavy saucepan. Add the chicken quarters, reduce the heat, cover and poach for 30–35 minutes.
• Remove the chicken from the wok or pan, and immerse in a bowl of cold water for at least 1 hour to cool, ready for shredding.
• Remove the chicken pieces from the bowl, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Take the meat off the bones. On a flat work surface, pound the chicken with a rolling pin, then tear the meat into shreds using two forks. Mix the chicken with the cucumber, and arrange in a serving dish.
• To serve, mix together all the sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined, and pour over the chicken and cucumber in the serving dish. Note Sesame oil is very pungent and strong-tasting, so a little of it goes a long way. Use sparingly, adding just a very little at a time, when creaming with the peanut butter, so that it does not overpower the other flavours. You should not need more than a teaspoon or so.

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