LTH Home

Szechuan Poached Chicken (Nanshan Spicy Chicken)

Szechuan Poached Chicken (Nanshan Spicy Chicken)
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Szechuan Poached Chicken (Nanshan Spicy Chicken)

    Post #1 - April 13th, 2013, 12:46 pm
    Post #1 - April 13th, 2013, 12:46 pm Post #1 - April 13th, 2013, 12:46 pm
    I've been having a culinary love affair with Nanshan Spicy Chicken from Snack Planet Corp. in Chicago's Chinatown. Being a curious cook this typically results in rolling my own, which gives me a greater understanding of the dish and increases enjoyment. Not a bad first attempt, couple more goes and I'll have another arrow in my culinary quiver.

    Double batch Hong You (Szechuan Red Chile Oil) Saveur Issue #154
    Chinese style poached chicken thighs.

    Ducks in a row:
    Scallion, cilantro, pan toasted peanuts, bamboo shoots, chicken, red chili oil.


    Image

    Combine first 5 ingredients, generously top with red chili oil, mix and eat.

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - April 13th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    Post #2 - April 13th, 2013, 3:50 pm Post #2 - April 13th, 2013, 3:50 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Chinese style poached chicken thighs.


    Gary,

    This dish looks really good. Is it served warm, cold? How do you poach the chicken?

    Best,
    Bill
  • Post #3 - April 14th, 2013, 8:56 am
    Post #3 - April 14th, 2013, 8:56 am Post #3 - April 14th, 2013, 8:56 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:This dish looks really good. Is it served warm, cold? How do you poach the chicken?

    Pictured dish was served as the chicken was cooling, subsequent versions will be served with cold to room temp chicken. In other words, I am not planning on heating the chicken.

    Poaching method was a slight variation of Boiled Chicken, Chinese style straight from The Frugal Gourmet, 1984 edition.
    "When the water boils, place the whole cleaned chicken into it. When the water stops boiling, take the chicken out. Cover the pot, and when the water again boils, place the chicken back in the pot. Cover the pot,, and turn off the heat. Leave the chicken in the pot and the pot on the burner. After 1 hour the chicken is done. Remove and cool" I used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs thus adjusted steeping time downward.

    Next go around I will increase the Hong You heat level, my current thought is to add either pequin or chili flake to the chiles de arbol, and increase Szechuan pepper by 20%. I used canned bamboo shoot which were mushy, I'll use fresh next time around or go sideways with daikon radish.

    Bill, looking forward to seeing you spin on this dish.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - April 14th, 2013, 10:11 am
    Post #4 - April 14th, 2013, 10:11 am Post #4 - April 14th, 2013, 10:11 am
    G Wiv wrote:I used canned bamboo shoot which were mushy, I'll use fresh next time around or go sideways with daikon radish.
    Bill, looking forward to seeing you spin on this dish.


    Thanks so much for the info, Gary. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow. My first spin will be to use this instead of the canned bamboo shoots:

    http://www.amazon.com/golden-smell-Preserved-Bamboo-Shoots/dp/B008GN1ER6/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_3_P52A

    Canned shoots have a metallic taste I just don't like. I've been using these on everything lately - kind of like a kimchi made with bamboo shoots rather than cabbage. One of these days I'm going to try my hand at making these from scratch.
  • Post #5 - April 14th, 2013, 10:27 am
    Post #5 - April 14th, 2013, 10:27 am Post #5 - April 14th, 2013, 10:27 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:Thanks so much for the info, Gary. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow. My first spin will be to use this instead of the canned bamboo shoots:

    http://www.amazon.com/golden-smell-Preserved-Bamboo-Shoots/dp/B008GN1ER6/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_3_P52A

    Saw those in the store, reached then shifted to canned, a mistake easily corrected.

    Deconstructed Szechuan chicken for breakfast, with daikon. Jasmine rice not show.

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - April 14th, 2013, 2:55 pm
    Post #6 - April 14th, 2013, 2:55 pm Post #6 - April 14th, 2013, 2:55 pm
    Is there an aroma more heavenly than the vapors that rise up from the bubble and pop of the seasoned, hot oil hitting the chiles and peppercorns. Hong me!

    Gary, you and I have traded many recipes over the years, but this one places me firmly in your debt.
  • Post #7 - April 15th, 2013, 8:19 am
    Post #7 - April 15th, 2013, 8:19 am Post #7 - April 15th, 2013, 8:19 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:Gary, you and I have traded many recipes over the years, but this one places me firmly in your debt.

    Bill, its me who is firmly in your debt, over the years* I have accumulated so many good ideas, techniques and recipes from you I have a Bill A file on my hard drive.

    *Bill and I have been communicating on various BBQ/culinary forums for the better part of 20-years.
    Last edited by G Wiv on April 15th, 2013, 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - April 15th, 2013, 8:34 am
    Post #8 - April 15th, 2013, 8:34 am Post #8 - April 15th, 2013, 8:34 am
    Thanks, Gary. This looks very good. I always enjoy your savory breakfast ideas and posts. After a couple of weeks of congee and noodles for breakfast, I am coming around to cravings for those salty umami flavors in the morning.

    Two things you can clarify for me:

    1) What is gained in the Frugal Gourmet poaching method by removing the chicken when the water stops boiling and then adding it again when the water returns to the boil?

    2) I made a Szechuan dish with chiles de arbol this weekend - but I was not certain that they are the same as Chinese chiles. And they must be different than Chiles Japonicas - or are those the Chinese chiles? Either way, they seem to give the same heat as what I had in Yunnan. But I am wondering if there is some subtle aromatic difference.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #9 - April 15th, 2013, 8:38 am
    Post #9 - April 15th, 2013, 8:38 am Post #9 - April 15th, 2013, 8:38 am
    Josephine wrote:2) I made a Szechuan dish with chiles de arbol this weekend - but I was not certain that they are the same as Chinese chiles. And they must be different than Chiles Japonicas - or are those the Chinese chiles? Either way, they seem to give the same heat as what I had in Yunnan. But I am wondering if there is some subtle aromatic difference.

    I can't speak directly for Gary, but I've found Chiles de Arbol to be a hotter, and much more economical option than most of the dried chiles I've found in Asian markets around Chicagoland. "Facing Heaven" chiles have not been found, and many of the other packages I've encountered are of poor quality flavor-wise and rather wimpy in spiciness.

    Is it the right flavor? Possibly not, but hey, we're often deep frying them, so a lot of subtlety is lost anyway.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - April 15th, 2013, 9:21 am
    Post #10 - April 15th, 2013, 9:21 am Post #10 - April 15th, 2013, 9:21 am
    Josephine wrote:1) What is gained in the Frugal Gourmet poaching method by removing the chicken when the water stops boiling and then adding it again when the water returns to the boil?

    Its my understanding, and I am no Harold McGee, that when the cool air hits hot steaming chicken skin it seals. This, in combination with turning off the heat and letting the chicken gently coast to done, results in tender moist chicken.

    Josephine wrote:2) I made a Szechuan dish with chiles de arbol this weekend - but I was not certain that they are the same as Chinese chiles. And they must be different than Chiles Japonicas - or are those the Chinese chiles? Either way, they seem to give the same heat as what I had in Yunnan. But I am wondering if there is some subtle aromatic difference.

    Japones and Chile De Arblo are similar in appearance with Japones having a slightly lower Scoville rating and, according to my internet search, the walls of the Japones are thicker. I use them interchangeably.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - April 15th, 2013, 10:12 am
    Post #11 - April 15th, 2013, 10:12 am Post #11 - April 15th, 2013, 10:12 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Josephine wrote:1) What is gained in the Frugal Gourmet poaching method by removing the chicken when the water stops boiling and then adding it again when the water returns to the boil?

    Its my understanding, and I am no Harold McGee, that when the cool air hits hot steaming chicken skin it seals. This, in combination with turning off the heat and letting the chicken gently coast to done, results in tender moist chicken.

    Josephine wrote:2) I made a Szechuan dish with chiles de arbol this weekend - but I was not certain that they are the same as Chinese chiles. And they must be different than Chiles Japonicas - or are those the Chinese chiles? Either way, they seem to give the same heat as what I had in Yunnan. But I am wondering if there is some subtle aromatic difference.

    Japones and Chile De Arblo are similar in appearance with Japones having a slightly lower Scoville rating and, according to my internet search, the walls of the Japones are thicker. I use them interchangeably.


    Thanks, Gary. I am going to try that chicken poaching method this week and post back. And I am going to go ahead and add some Chiles de Arbol to the pickle I am making from Fuschia Dulop's book. Stay tuned for the results.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #12 - April 15th, 2013, 11:14 am
    Post #12 - April 15th, 2013, 11:14 am Post #12 - April 15th, 2013, 11:14 am
    I am dubious about this method of poaching chicken. The chicken leaves more than a little of its juices in the poaching liquid - reminds me a bit of the dilution of flavor from parboiling ribs!!! I like to poach chicken slowly in a rich broth. I freeze the broth after use for future poaching - it gets richer and richer. I also SV chicken thighs for dishes like this.
  • Post #13 - April 15th, 2013, 11:26 am
    Post #13 - April 15th, 2013, 11:26 am Post #13 - April 15th, 2013, 11:26 am
    Here is my attempt, served with steamed rice and "assorted flavor" broccoli.

    Image

    Everyone loved it. Next time, I'll salt the chicken after poaching. There will definitely be a next time. I'm also thinking this oil might stand up well to some roast duck.

    G Wiv wrote:[*Bill and I have been communicating on various BBQ/culinary forums for the better part of 20-years.


    It's been that long since our halcyon Iron Chef years? Gary and I were insufferable, pretentious foodie snobs long before it was in vogue. 8)
  • Post #14 - April 15th, 2013, 1:26 pm
    Post #14 - April 15th, 2013, 1:26 pm Post #14 - April 15th, 2013, 1:26 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I am dubious about this method of poaching chicken. The chicken leaves more than a little of its juices in the poaching liquid - reminds me a bit of the dilution of flavor from parboiling ribs!!!

    Did you try it?

    Even Barbara Tropp, of which Bill and I are fan club members, has a variation on the method. By no means did Jeff Smith 'invent" the Chinese poach method.

    While, as previously stated, I am no Harold McGee I do have a copy of "On Food and Cooking" on hand.
    "Hot Water: Braising, Stewing, Poaching, Simmering.
    Meats coked in liquid should be allow to cool in that liquid, and are best served at temperatures well below the cooking temperature, around 120F/50C. The capacity of the meat tissue to hold water increases as it cools, so it will actually reabsorb some of the liquid it lost during the cooking."


    Chicken cooked in this method is consistently flavorful and moist with tender silky flesh.

    Bill/SFNM wrote:Here is my attempt, served with steamed rice and "assorted flavor" broccoli.

    Looks delicious!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - April 15th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Post #15 - April 15th, 2013, 2:37 pm Post #15 - April 15th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Did you try it?

    ... will actually reabsorb some of the liquid it lost during the cooking."




    Yes, it was very good. Although the amount absorbed when cooling may be minor, I'd rather the chicken absorb a rich broth or the undiluted SV cooking juices than chicken juices that have been watered-down in 12 quarts of water.
  • Post #16 - April 15th, 2013, 3:07 pm
    Post #16 - April 15th, 2013, 3:07 pm Post #16 - April 15th, 2013, 3:07 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:Yes, it was very good. Although the amount absorbed when cooling may be minor, I'd rather the chicken absorb a rich broth or the undiluted SV cooking juices than chicken juices that have been watered-down in 12 quarts of water.

    Makes sense and, I should have guessed, you tried the method before commenting and were simply outlining ways to improve flavor.

    Most, including myself, don't have SV capability or 6+ quarts of stock on hand and the Chinese water poaching method is a relatively quick no fuss way to achieve tender silky chicken flesh.

    Bill/SFNM wrote:It's been that long since our halcyon Iron Chef years? Gary and I were insufferable, pretentious foodie snobs long before it was in vogue. 8)

    Were, past tense? At least in my case..... ;)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - April 15th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    Post #17 - April 15th, 2013, 3:27 pm Post #17 - April 15th, 2013, 3:27 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Most, including myself, don't have SV capability or 6+ quarts of stock on hand and the Chinese water poaching method is a relatively quick no fuss way to achieve tender silky chicken flesh.

    Bill/SFNM wrote:It's been that long since our halcyon Iron Chef years? Gary and I were insufferable, pretentious foodie snobs long before it was in vogue. 8)

    Were, past tense? At least in my case..... ;)


    I use about a quart of rich broth for poaching 8 thighs. Takes much less space in the freezer than a pork butt. I have a similar container of shrimp stock that I use for poaching shrimp. IIRC, it's now about 18 years old.

    Yeah, I guess I can be just as insufferable, but at least I've come to better recognize the glazed look in others' eyes when I try to explain the nuances of wild starter culture doughs. Now, I just serve the bread without comment.
  • Post #18 - April 15th, 2013, 4:29 pm
    Post #18 - April 15th, 2013, 4:29 pm Post #18 - April 15th, 2013, 4:29 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:
    I use about a quart of rich broth for poaching 8 thighs. Takes much less space in the freezer than a pork butt. I have a similar container of shrimp stock that I use for poaching shrimp. IIRC, it's now about 18 years old.

    Yeah, I guess I can be just as insufferable, but at least I've come to better recognize the glazed look in others' eyes when I try to explain the nuances of wild starter culture doughs. Now, I just serve the bread without comment.



    hardcore. I need to step my game up.
  • Post #19 - April 27th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Post #19 - April 27th, 2013, 10:34 am Post #19 - April 27th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Just wanted to say thanks for the link to the hung you chili oil. That stuff is fantastic. I made it about a week and a half ago and it's really coming into its own now. I used some kind of Chinese chiles (the bag was all in Chinese, and it looked like the stuff you'd get at a Szechuan restaurant) instead of arbols, with a little bit of bright red powdered Indian reshampatti chiles for good measure and color, and I added just a touch of sesame oil (maybe a teaspoon), and it turned out great. Love the notes the star anise (along with the other spices) gives it. That extra little flavoring takes it to a whole 'nother level for me. I could almost drink this stuff.
  • Post #20 - September 2nd, 2013, 5:05 pm
    Post #20 - September 2nd, 2013, 5:05 pm Post #20 - September 2nd, 2013, 5:05 pm
    Gave this recipe a loose spin as a means of testing out a giant batch of chili oil (recipe similar to the link in the OP but much more chili flake). My only additions were a tsp or two of toasted/ground Szechuan peppercorn and a little light soy sauce. This is some addicting stuff that really is all about the chili oil.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more