The original recipe from Liuyang, China was deep fried but the author chose to stir-fry the chicken instead in this cookbook. I agree even though I love fried food and the crispy chicken would add a nice contrast with the vegetables and sauce.
I enjoyed Fuchsia Dunlop’s first cookbook a lot so I bought the other two; I don’t think I will be disappointed. This recipe which I have adapted comes from “Every Grain of Rice” which won a James Beard Award. I do like my cookbooks, some people read novels and I read cookbooks, oh and garden books too 🙂 How people can just “pin” recipes and never pick up a cookbook I will never understand; but each to their own.
I am fortunate to have a few well-stocked Asian grocery stores so I have access to probably any Chinese ingredient I need. The author does give substitutes which might be easier to find in your local stores.
Experiment, have fun and I hope you enjoy this Chinese recipe.
Black Bean Chicken
- 8 oz. chicken breast (can use thighs)
- 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine or dry sherry is okay
- 1-1/2 tsp. potato flour (cornstarch is fine, just double the amount)
- 1 tsp. light soy sauce or Tamari – this is not what you might find called low-sodium
- 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
- red and green bell peppers (1/2 of each) cut into pieces the size of the chicken
- 3 tbsp. peanut oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (could mince this)
- same amount of ginger, peeled and sliced (I would mince it instead – fresh is a must)
- 2 tbsp. fermented black beans, rinsed and drained (see comment below)
- 1-2 tsp. ground chilies of your choice such as Tien Tsin (I buy this traditional Asian pepper whole and grind it up) you could also cut off the tips of these peppers so some of the seeds spill out giving some more heat
- 2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onion cut on the diagonal
- 1 tsp. sesame oil (you can buy toasted which adds a little more depth to this recipe)
- extra soy sauce on the side garnished with green onion slices (optional)
Cut up the chicken into 1/2″ to 1 ” pieces, place in a bowl and add the next four ingredients. Mix well and marinate for at least 30 minutes. I actually marinated them overnight.
Heat your wok (yes I have an electric one and not an authentic Chinese wok) to high. My electric needs 10 minutes to preheat. See Kitchen Gadgets – Breville Hot Wok. Add 1 tbsp. oil, the peppers and stir-fry until slightly cooked; remove and set aside.
Add the remaining oil and the marinated chicken and once they are almost cooked add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute or two. The aroma just fills your kitchen with wonderful smells!
Add the black beans and stir, then add the ground chilies or dried chile peppers. Return the peppers to the wok. Continue to cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the green onion slices; turn off the heat and add the sesame oil.
Comment: Fermented black beans are also called salted black beans and preserved black beans. They come in different sauces or just salted. I purchased them in a can and in the bag below. Once opened, rinse briefly and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
They are among the most distinctive Hunanese seasonings, especially when used with chilies. Would you believe they have been used in Chinese cooking for more than 2,000 years!
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju
This is week number 136 of the weekly Fiesta Friday parties. I will be stopping by to see what you have brought to the party so come join the fun. I am the only co-host this week along with our gracious host, Angie.