Friday, January 25, 2013

Five spice chicken with peppers

The Chinese five spice powder is believed to be a unique blend of all five elements. All five flavors - sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty, are mixed together in a specific proportion to create this wonderful bold aromatic powder. Use of five spice can spruce up any dish. Use it as a marinade or just toss it in a stir fry and you will see the difference. The five ingredients used are Schezuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon bark, and fennel. You can use store bought or make your own (recipe below).
This aromatic chicken recipe gives you the intense flavor of five spice. Cornflour and five spice coated boneless pieces of chicken are stir-fried with onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies and served over steamed rice.

Five spice powder

1-2 tsp Schezuan peppercorns
6-star anise
8 cloves
2-inch cinnamon bark
1 tsp fennel
Dry roast the peppercorns on medium heat in a skillet for 2 minutes, just until it releases the aroma. Cool and grind it with the rest of the spices to form a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

Five spice chicken with peppers

1 lb boneless chicken thighs cubed
1 large each red and green pepper
1/2 red onion cut in large chunks and separated
3-4 whole green chilies (optional)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Sesame oil
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp five spice powder
Black pepper powder to taste
1 tbsp cornflour
  1. Marinate the chicken using all items listed under marinade for at least an hour in the fridge. 
  2. Cube the red and green pepper into one-inch pieces. 
  3. Heat some sesame oil in a wok and sauté the onion and peppers on a high heat for a few minutes till tender crisp. Season with salt and 1/2 tsp five spice powder. 
  4. Remove and keep aside. 
  5. In the same pan add some more oil and sauté ginger garlic paste for 30 seconds. Don't let it brown, add marinated chicken and stir fry on medium high for 10-12 minutes till chicken cooked through. 
  6. Add the sautéed peppers and a dash of rice wine vinegar. Toss for a couple of minutes and remove from heat. 
  7. Serve over steamed rice.

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