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Spicy Sichuan Steamed Chicken
This Sichuan chicken dish, called kou shui ji, usually is a poached whole chicken that’s sliced, then drenched in an aromatic chili oil sauce. Here we use only chicken breasts, cooking them in a chili oil infusion; the resulting cooking liquid becomes a spicy, flavorful sauce that’s drizzled over the sliced meat. Sichuan peppercorns, which have a unique tongue-tingling flavor, are unrelated to black or white peppercorns; they are reddish-brown and resemble tiny dried berries. Look for them in Asian supermarkets; if not available, use 1 teaspoon black peppercorns instead. The flavor will be different, but still good. The chicken can be served warm, room temperature or cold. Wrap the slices in lettuce leaves or serve over steamed jasmine rice with an extra drizzle of chili oil, if desired.
cup chili oil
inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
01On a 6 quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté. Add the chili oil, ginger, cilantro stems and Sichuan peppercorns. Cook, stirring, until sizzling and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Press Cancel and let the mixture cool until the sizzling stops, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup water. Place the chicken breasts flesh side down into the liquid.
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