Spice-braised Chicken

This recipe results in a chicken with a spicier, less neutral-flavored chicken than the Simmered Chicken, but after you serve it on its own, you can still use the leftovers in a variety of ways: cold as an appetizer, sliced over noodles, mixed into fried rice. The addition of Sichuan peppercorns gives it a truly authentic flavor, but if you can’t find them in an Asian grocery or in the Asian section of a conventional store, you can substitute some other peppercorns – black, green, red, pink, or a mix.


  • a 3-4 pound chicken, cut up (try to buy local, sustainably raised birds – your mouth, your body, your environment, and your local food economy will thank you!)
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2″ sections
  • 2 star anise (available in the spice section of most stores, but much cheaper in Asian markets)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 T Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/4 c dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 c cooking wine
  • 1/4 c sesame oil


  1. Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Place in a heavy-bottom pot with the remaining ingredients. Add enough water to cover up to 1/2 of the chicken.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook just until cooked through, approximately 40 m, turning at least once to ensure an even color.
  3. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. You can serve the pieces whole, cut the meat off the bone, or serve Chinese style: using a heavy cleaver or very sturdy chef’s knife, cut the chicken into “chopstickable” pieces, bones and all.
  4. While you cut the chicken, bring the sauce to a rolling boil and reduce slightly.
  5. Place the chicken on a plate, pour a little sauce over it, and serve hot.

3 Responses

  1. I just found your blog and am looking forward to exploring your posts and recipes. I love Chinese food and have experimented with cooking it at home with a healthy twist with only some success. I have perfected chicken fried rice and a chicken and broccoli stir fry.

    Love having a rice cooker but am ready to buy a new one.

    Thanks for posting so many recipes and all the helpful tips!

  2. Hi Liza! I am finally visiting your awesome blog, now that I’m taking classes on learning how to blog! This sure is a great one… I could spend a lot of time here… It was very easy to find your blog, too, so great job. Looking forward to trying these yummy recipes!

  3. Sort of a red-braised dish…. I love those, although I usually skip the star Anise.

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