These Sichuan Chicken Wings and Asian Greens were originally 2 separate recipes from this months BBC Good Food Magazine but seeing as the pak choi only took a few minutes I decided to do them with the wings. They’re also nice and light which is what you need with rich wings. The Sichuan Chicken wings could have been made more rich by deep frying them which would be the tradition in China, but dredging in a little baking powder really does crispen up the skin really well. Plus it allows you to cook them low at first which made them unbelievably tender, something you cannot do when deep frying. They were literally falling off the bone! Whenever I try a new Chinese dish at home I’m always blown away by the variation of flavour you get from alternating a few Chinese kitchen stables. Of course they have a fast array of ingredients but it’s amazing how strongly light soy, dark soy, shauxing and sesame seed oil feature. Everytime I use sichuan peppercorns I am blown away by the citrusy perfume. It’s citrusy and something else that I can only say is very exotic and a little sharp. It’s a flavour that is always imported into the food. In this recipe, there was just 1 and a half teaspoons of the stuff battling against the soy sauces and sugar but it was still there in the eating. If some designer came out with a sichuan peppercorn aftershave or scented candle I would definitely buy it.
Overall both these recipes were really simple seeing as both the sauces can be made ahead of time and considering that the wings need 50 minutes in the oven before they need their sichuan sauce, that gives you plenty time.
- 800g chicken wings
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp sichuan peppercorns
- 1.5 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 tbsp shauxing wine
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
- 3 tbsp palm sugar
- 1.5 tbsp garlic and ginger paste or a tbsp each of finely grated garlic and ginger
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 2-3 tbsp peanuts
- 350g pak choi
- Add the wings, salt and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and toss to coat the wings evenly. Then lay them on a baking tray lined with a wire rack and transfer to preheated oven at 160 degrees celsius for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Then turn the heat up to 200 degrees celsius and roast for another 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, add the sichuan peppercorns and chilli flakes to a dry frying pan and place over a high heat for 2 minutes or until they become really aromatic. Then finely grind them in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Return them to the frying pan along with the shauxing wine, soy sauces, sesame seed oil, sugar, garlic and ginger. Whisk with a fork to help the sugar dissolve then place over a high heat for 8-10 minutes until thickened. Then set aside until later.
- Now take a small saucepan to make the dressing for the pak choi. Add the vegetable oil, oyster sauce and water, whisk to combine and place over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until glossy. Then set aside until later.
- Chop the peanuts and set aside to garnish the wings at the end.
- Once the wings have had 20 minutes at 200 degrees, take them out and add them to a mixing bowl. Pour over the sichuan sauce and toss to coat. Return them to the baking tray and roast for another 5 minutes until they are bubbling.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and add the pak choi. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes then drain well, halve vertically, lay them on a platter and drizzle over the oyster dressing.
- Take out the wings, lay them on the platter too and scatter over the peanuts and some extra chilli flakes (optional).