Crispy Salt and Pepper Chicken
Recipe created by Donna Hay
Servings: Serves 6
  • 3 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 5 centimeter piece fresh ginger , peeled and sliced
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 long red chili pepper , chopped
  • 1 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup oyster sauce
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro) , roots only
  • 6 (7 ounces) chicken thigh fillets , trimmed
  • Vegetable oil , for deep frying
  • Salt and Pepper Mixture (Makes 1/3 cup spice mix)
    • 1/2 cup sea salt
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
    • 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
    To make the salt and pepper mix: Place the sea salt, star anise, cinnamon, five-spice powder and chili flakes in a medium fry pan over high heat and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool. Place the mixture into the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Set aside.

    Place the garlic, ginger, anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, fivespice powder, chili pepper, rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce and water in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Carefully peel the orange and add the rind to the stock with the roots of the coriander. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 10 cups. Cook chicken in stock for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through.

    To make chicken: Allow to cool. Thinly slice and set aside. Dust the chicken in the rice flour and shake to remove excess. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat until hot. Cook the chicken batches, about 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked crispy and golden. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper mixture to serve.