A long time ago (or what feels like a long time ago) there was a person who wanted to cook for their special someone but they kept thinking of the same dishes that they had made before. The internet wasn’t much help because if they searched generic chicken recipes, they found exactly that. They needed help. So they asked their special someone a question. One simple question that would provide them a direction. They asked “Where do you want to go tomorrow?”
Now it took some clarification but it became quite common that once a week, they would ask if “you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow for dinner where would you go?” When their special someone replied “Beijing.” They had their direction. Now they just had to find a recipe that was somewhat simple in technique, had less than a million ingredients, and had exotic or exciting flavors.
Those two people were us and while this was a really long time ago not much has changed for me in the kitchen. I still use recipes and usually want those same three things. Sarah can find things and combine them into beautiful dishes. While I once tried to make pasta sauce with equal parts red wine and catsup. (In my defense, that was a longer time ago. Yet part of me feels like I was onto something, not something edible mind you but onto something nonetheless.) My point is that we hope the recipes we post here bring something new to your table but in completely comfortable and familiar way. Perhaps you’ll know all of the ingredients or maybe you’ll make some new flavor friends. (Is that trademarked? Quick put it on a t-shirt, beer coozie, and apron! FLAVOR FRIENDS!)
Today’s recipe is: Teacup Chicken. The name alludes to how traditionally a small chinese teacup was used to measure the ingredients. At least that is what we read on most of the recipes for the dish that we came across while researching this spicy, tangy, mouth numbing, and addictive meal. Ah yes, mouth numbing. While we of course use Marshall’s Haute Sauce, this recipe also calls for Sichuan peppercorns. If you aren’t familiar with Sichuan peppercorns, they are pretty special little pepper morsels. They aren’t spicy but are instead a mysterious slight citrus flavor coupled with a numbing effect on your lips and mouth. Sounds odd, right? Well it is but we love it. If you want you can omit it and the dish is still delicious but for us the peppercorns really make this dish something special.
3 Whole Star Anise
1/4 Cup Liquid Aminos (or Soy Sauce)
1/4 Cup Marshall’s Serrano Ginger Lemongrass Sauce
1/4 Cup Sake (or Rice Wine)
2 Tbs Oil (Peanut or Sunflower)
2 Medium Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Cubed
1/2 Onion Diced
3 Medium Carrots Sliced
2 Celery Stalks Sliced
1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorns Whole
1. In a medium bowl add Liquid Aminos, Serrano Ginger Lemongrass Sauce, Sake, Star Anise, stir with a spoon and set to the side.
2. In a large non-stick pan or wok heat the oil over high heat. Use an oil that can reach a high heat and make sure it is enough to coat the pan (add another Tbs if needed). Once the oil is hot add the chicken and don’t touch it, let it sit (about 3 min) to get a golden brown on one side, check one cube and if this has happened stir it, so the other side can get brown (about 3 min).
3. Add the onions and saute until transparent. Add in the carrots and celery, and mix a couple times.
4. Add the peppercorns and sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, do not stir, let boil for 2 min. Reduce heat to low and let sauce reduce for 5 min, stir occasionally.
5. Serve with rice or steamed veggies.