Poached Chicken in Sichuan Chili Oil Sauce
The Chinese name is kou shui ji (sometimes translated as saliva chicken) but the dish is actually poached chicken in Sichuan chili oil sauce. Definitely no saliva among the ingredients. But the chicken will make your mouth water with its sublime flavors.This dish is traditionally cooked using a whole chicken. But poaching a whole chicken takes longer and is a lot trickier too. So, we use thigh fillets with still fantastic results.
- ¼ to ⅓ cup Sichuan chili oil sauce (see notes after the recipe)
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- Put the ginger and scallions in a pot and pour in the rice wine and two cups of water. Stir in the salt.
- Pat the chicken thigh fillets dry with kitchen paper and slide into the pot.
- Set the heat to high and bring the chicken to the boil. Cook the chicken, uncovered, for three minutes (that allows the internal temperature of the chicken to reach or even go over 165F so you don't get salmonella).
- Cover the pot, turn off the stove and leave the chicken thigh fillets to finish cooking in the residual heat for seven minutes to ten minutes, depending on how thick they are.
- Scoop out the chicken thigh fillets, dump into a bowl of icy water and leave them there for 30 seconds. This will firm up the chicken to make slicing easier without loss of meat juices.
- Slice the chicken thigh fillets and arrange in a bowl.
- Drizzle the Sichuan chili oil sauce over and around the chicken, sprinkle in the peanuts and sliced scallions, and serve.
Note that Sichuan chili oil and chili oil sauce are not the same thing. You have to make the chili oil first in order to make the sauce. The link in the ingredients list will lead you to the full instructions. You can make the chili oil in advance. In fact, it is a better strategy to make it in advance because the flavors get better over time. Chili oil can be kept, covered, at room temperature for a few weeks. Inspired by a recipe from China Sichuan Food.