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Chengdu’s tongue-tingling chicken is more than meets the eye

Crispy Sichuan-Chili Chicken

1 hour

Coating the chicken with cornstarch and egg whites—rather than a more traditional flour-based batter—keeps Sichuan dry-fried chicken feeling light despite being deep-fried. To toast the Sichuan peppercorns, heat them in a small skillet over medium and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder. To remove any large, fibrous bits, sift the ground pepper through a mesh strainer. You can control the spiciness of the dish by drizzling more or less of the Sichuan chili oil on the chicken.

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