Thursday, October 21, 2010

Szechuan Inspired Roasted Chicken

I crafted this recipe from memories of some great spicy chicken I had while in Chengdu, China. The Szechuan peppercorns are an amazing spice. They are not necessarily "hot". Instead, they slightly numb your tongue allowing you to eat even spicier food. They add this hint beneath a flavor that makes spice pop.

So...I started with the Szechuan peppercorns and built the recipe from there. I knew I wanted there to be an earthy undercurrent in the flavor palate, so I added some cardamon pods and Worcestershire sauce. This meant it needed a tad more salt and a little sweetness. I rounded it all out with the spiciness of hot paprika to give it that added kick. And..viola!

This chicken is fabulous as a main course by itself or cubed/minced with some onion and mayonnaise for a tasty chicken salad.

You Will Need:
6 Cardamon Pods
1 tsp. Szechuan Peppercorn
1/8 cup Salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Hot Paprika (increase this amount if you want it spicier)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
4 cups Warm Water
3 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts

What To Do:
Split the chicken breasts in half.
Combine ALL other ingredients. Add chicken.
Soak for at least 1 hour, and no more than 2 hours.
Remove the chicken from the brine, and pat dry, and brush with olive oil.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake on a pan for about 30 minutes or until juice runs clear.

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