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Sichuan-Style Cold Poached Chicken with Double Sesame Sauce

4 to 6 Servings

4 hours 40 minutes active

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Fuchsia Dunlop, London-based cookbook author and expert in Chinese cuisine, taught us how to make Sichuan poached chicken, which is served chilled and dressed with various sauces. One of our favorites was bang bang ji, a sauce made of sesame paste, soy, chili oil, tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns, plus sugar and Chinese black vinegar. The flavors were perfectly balanced, the ingredients coalescing into a superbly delicious chicken salad. This is our spin on her recipe. Chinese sesame paste is made from toasted sesame seeds; if it proves difficult to source, tahini is a fine stand-in. As a garnish, Dunlop fries raw peanuts until golden brown. But since the raw nuts are hard to come by in the U.S., we opt for roasted peanuts and sizzle them in hot oil to enhance their texture and deepen their flavor. If you like, serve on a bed of lettuce leaves or cucumber slices.

4 to 6



Don’t add the chicken to the poaching liquid breast side down. We’ve found that starting it breast up and turning it midway through cooking results in more even cooking of the breasts and legs. Also, don’t allow the liquid to simmer vigorously. Active, energetic bubbling causes the meat to toughen. Maintain just the barest simmer.

4 hours

40 minutes active


  • 4

    scallions, whites lightly smashed, greens thinly sliced, reserved separately

  • 1

    2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 2 or 3 pieces and bruised


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Ellen L.
July 5, 2023
We couldn’t wait and ate is warm. Has it as lettuce wraps with a bit of shredded carrot.