Serves 4 to 6 Poached chicken: 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each about 1 inch thick ¼ cup Shaoxing or dry white...
Serves 4 to 6
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each about 1 inch thick
¼ cup Shaoxing or dry white wine or vermouth
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2 green onions, cut in 2-inch lengths and lightly smashed
6 slices (1/8 inch thick) fresh ginger, smashed
1 teaspoon whole black, white or Sichuan peppercorns (see Kitchen Note*)
1 pound English cucumbers, peeled
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar (see Kitchen Note**)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 ½ teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro plus extra sprigs for garnish
Kosher salt if needed
1. To prepare poached chicken: Put breasts in a large saucepan with water to cover by 2 inches. Add wine, green onions, ginger and peppercorns. Increase heat to high; as soon as the liquid boils, reduce the heat and simmer 3 ½ minutes then cover and remove pan from heat. Let sit 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (reaches 165 degrees). Remove chicken from broth, cool and pull into shreads about 1/3-inch thick. Set aside.
2. To prepare cucumbers: Cut lengthwise into quarters and remove seeds. Then crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Cut into sticks about ¼-inch thick. Set aside.
3. To prepare dressing: Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, ground Sichuan pepper, ginger, garlic, sugar and cilantro by hand with a whisk or in a food processor. Taste and add salt if necessary. The dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
4. To serve: Arrange cucumbers on a platter with the chicken on top. Pour dressing over salad and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Times Kitchen Notes:
* Sichuan peppercorns can be found at Asian markets. India Tree also packages the peppercorns, which can be found at some large supermarkets such as Metropolitan Market. ** As a substitute for Chinese black vinegar, combine 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar with 1 teaspoon rice vinegar.
From “The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco” by Cecilia Chiang with Lisa Weiss