Serving
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Dong'an Chicken
China - Hunan
  -   dong an zi ji
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
**
1 hr  
Part
A justly famous chicken dish from Hunan. Over 1000 years ago it was enjoyed simply as "Vinegar Chicken" (cu ji) but when presented in other parts of China it needed a perkier name.



3-1/2
4
3/4
2
------
3
3/4
3
1
------
2
3
3
3
1/2
1/2
1/2
1
1/2
#
qt
in

---

in

t
---

T
T
T
t
c
T
T
T
Chicken (1)
Stock, light (2)
Ginger
Scallions
-- Seasonings
Chili, red (3)
Ginger
Chili, dry (4)
Sichuan Pepper (5)
-----------
Scallions
Oil or Lard
Rice Wine
Rice Vinegar, clear  
Salt
Chicken stock
Cornstarch
Water
Sesame Oil
Prep
  1. Bring Stock to a boil, rinse CHICKEN and add to stock (see Note-1). Bring back to a boil.
  2. Crush 3/4 inch GINGER leaving skin on. Crush 2 SCALLIONS. Add both to the pot. Turn down the heat and simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
  3. Pull Chicken from the pot and set aside (it will be about 3/4 cooked). When cool, pull all meat from the bones and cut or tear with the grain into bite size strips. The breast tears much better than it cuts. Return all debris to the pot and simmer for a few hours to enrich the stock.
  4. Cap CHILIS and cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and cut into narrow slivers. Peel 3/4 inch GINGER, slice very thin crosswise and then into narrow slivers. Crush Sichuan Peppercorns just enough to break them up. Mix all together with Dried Chilis.
  5. Ladle out, strain and defat enough stock to make 1/2 cup. Mix with Rice Wine, Rice Vinegar and Salt.
  6. Cut green part of 2 SCALLIONS into slivers.
Run
  1. In a spacious sauté pan or wok, heat Oil to near smoking. Stir in Chili mix for about 30 seconds, then stir in Chicken. Fry stirring until uniformly coated with oil. Pour the Stock mix around over the chicken and bring all to a boil. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes, turning chicken now and then to blend flavors.
  2. Mix Potato Starch with 1T Water and add to the chicken. Stir continuously until sauce is thickened. Adjust to the thickness you want. I make it thinner than Chinese might because I serve it as a main dish with rice, not as one of 5 sides.
  3. Stir in Scallion slivers and Sesame Oil, then immediately take off heat.
  4. Serve hot with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken: Of course a "free range" chicken would be more authentic but pushes up the cost. I use a wide pot so I cut the chicken with shears along both sides and over the back, avoiding the meaty parts, to separate it into two halves: wings and breasts, legs and backs. That way it'll lie flatter and need less stock.
  2. Stock: That may seem like a lot of stock, but you'll actually end up with more than you started with.
  3. Chili Fresh Red: Around here we all use Fresnos but Holland Red would be a little more "authentic" in shape (until Thailand and Vietnam get up to speed with Fresnos). For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Chili Dry: Arbols or dry red Thai chilis will do fine. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Sichuan Peppercorns:   Fruits of a prickly ash tree - and now again legally available in the US. They're nothing like black peppercorns. Use black peppercorns only out of desperation. For details see our Sichuan Peppercorns page.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch ar=as required tt=to taste
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