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Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sichuan chicken stir fry

I didn't get to post last night, so I'm writing a quick naptime descrption of last night's dinner now. After I'd written my rant on boneless-skinless-joyless cooking I recalled one use for it: stiry fry. I picked up some boneless chicken thighs yesterday to use with my dwindling supply of sichuan peppercorns.

Sichuan peppercorns impart a smoky flavor, but are not very hot. So you can use it liberally without causing pain. I bought mine from a business that I've since lost track of, but I'm pretty sure you can get them at Kalustyan's, New York's motherlode of spices and imported foodstuff (Lexington around 29th Street, 800-352-3451). Since mine are a little old (and therefore losing their flavor) I used two tablespoons.

To really bring out the flavor of peppercorns I like to toast them in a dry wok for a few minutes until they start smoking. Then I crush them in a mortar and pestle and set aside. I sauteed some chopped garlic in some vegetable oil in the wok first before adding the peppercorns back in, then added about one tablespoon soy sauce, one tablespoon rice wine (you could use rice wine vinegar), and the chicken.

I cooked this mixture on high until the chicken looked done. Then I added my vegetables -- broccoli, thinly-sliced carrots, and shitake mushrooms. I sauteed these until they were cooked as well. This is a good point to taste and add salt if you think the dish needs it. I served the stir fry over brown rice and topped with crushed peanuts.

Today I'm supposed to receive a shipment of roasted chilies my sister sent from Colorado! I'm very excited...

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