A lot of people get weirded out by poached chicken because it looks so unfamiliar, namely not covered in batter and fried. I’m sure there are other cuisines that poach chicken but to me, it’s a very Chinese thing especially when served cold with a sauce. In this case, it’s a Sichuan chile sauce that gives the dish not only color but also body and a little bit of kick.
Lately I’ve been going through Fuschia Dunlop’s cookbooks because I missed deep Asian flavors during my trial Whole30 meal plan. I learned how to cook Sichuan food and how to appreciate the humble Sichuan peppercorn through her books. I went back to pages I’ve initially bookmarked and this recipe is one is them.
6 chicken thighs
1 large knob of ginger, peeled, cut in smaller pieces
2 scallions, chopped
sesame seeds, toasted
For the sauce:
2 tbsps light soy sauce
2 tbsps Chinkiang vinegar
1 tbsp of the chicken stock
Sichuan chile paste
a jigger of sesame oil
1. Place washed chicken thighs in a stock pot and fill with just enough water to cover. Add ginger and bring to a boil, uncovered.
2. Skim impurities and lower the heat to a medium simmer. Cover and poach for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken to a shallow bowl using a spider. (Save the broth minus the solids for another recipe.) Rinse with cold water, drain, and break into bite-sized pieces. Toss with some salt and scallions.
4. Make the sauce to serve. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Add the Sichuan chile paste according to your heat preference. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.