Sichuan Hot Chicken


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September 9, 2021

Chinese Fried Chicken Main Dishes Recipes


This recipe for Sichuan Hot Chicken was inspired by my love for Nashville Hot Chicken but with an Asian twist!

@cj.eats

Attention hot chicken lovers: this SICHUAN hot chicken is going to blow your mind 🤯 #friedchicken #nashvillehotchicken #easyrecipe #takeout #fyp

♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco

INGREDIENTS TIPS

PICKLE JUICE
Pickle juice is one of my favorite ways to make a quick brine – the way I understand it, the vinegar makes the meat more tender, while the salt makes the meat more moist. If you don’t have pickle juice, you can sub with 1 cup water with 2 tbsp salt mixed in.

WHITE PEPPER
I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!) 

FLOUR + CORNSTARCH
I like to use a combination of flour and cornstarch for the dredge. The addition of cornstarch makes the flour coating crispier and gives it that beautiful golden brown color!

SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS + CHILI FLAKES
These two ingredients are what gives an Asian twist to this Nashville Hot Chicken-inspired fried chicken! I purchase both of these items from my local 99 Ranch (Chinese grocery chain). I’ve also seen them sold on Amazon! If you don’t have them on hand, you won’t get the same mouth-numbing flavors that make this dish.

RECIPE TIPS

HOW TO FRENCH CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS
I used chicken drumsticks, as I wanted to ‘French’ them into chicken lollipops. Frenching is a technique where you cut away the tissues at the bottom of the drumstick to reveal the bone – not only is this a fancier presentation, it also compacts the meat into a lollipop, which makes for a more enjoyable bite! With a sharp knife, I like to make two cuts around the lower part of the drumstick and then push the meat down and trim the remaining cartilage/skin (this part is easier with kitchen scissors, in my opinion).

CRAGGILY BITS

Make sure to spoon some of the leftover brine to your seasoning mix and rub them together to create the craggily bits we all love! They’ll stick to the chicken and create the perfect texture!

OIL TEMPERATURE
Do not let your frying oil drop below 300-325F when frying! I highly recommend you use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. If you see it dropping below 300F, fry your chicken in batches. Frying at a low temperature will result in too much moisture (AKA SOGGY!)

INTERNAL TEMPERATURE
If you are not a seasoned pro at cooking (and honestly, even if you are!) I would highly recommend you use a meat thermometer to check your chicken – you want the internal temp to be at 165F. Undercooked chicken can lead to food poisoning, so always err on the side of caution!

SAFETY FIRST
You are handling boiling hot oil in this recipe, so please be safe! Use a small sauce pan you can handle comfortably when heating up the oil and be careful when pouring into the spice mixture.

Sichuan Hot Chicken

Servings 2

Ingredients
 
 

Chicken

  • 1 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup pickle juice sub 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • neutral oil for frying

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup szechuan chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground szechuan pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil heated

Instructions
 

  • OPTIONAL – use a sharp boning knife to French chicken drumsticks.
  • Brine in buttermilk, pickle juice, white pepper, and Sichuan peppercorns for 6-8 hours (up to 24 hours in the refrigerator).
  • Add flour, cornstarch, salt, and white pepper to a large bowl and whisk together.
  • Drizzle a few drops of marinade to create craggily bits.
  • Dredge chicken in dry mixture and pack well.
  • Fry at 325°F for 11-12 min or until chicken reaches 165°F. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together chili flakes, brown sugar, ground Sichuan pepper, five spice, and salt. Pour in 1 cup of hot oil and mix well.
  • Dip or baste chicken with hot oil & enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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