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Bang Bang Chicken Sauce with Tender Steamed Chicken

Bang Bang Chicken Sauce with Tender Steamed Chicken

This is our family recipe for bang bang chicken (a Szechuan chicken dish) sauce that's gotten rave reviews.
I've also included instructions for making very tender and juicy steamed chicken, which is usually served with this sauce.

Ingredients

For the bang bang chicken sauce:
A. Sugar
1 tablespoon - 15 ml
A. Soy sauce
2 teaspoons - 10 ml
A. Zhi ma jiang (or regular sesame paste)
1 1/2 tablespoons - 22.5 ml
A. Sesame oil
1 teaspoon - 5 ml
A. Rice vinegar
1 tablespoon - 15 ml
A. Chicken soup stock (or water with soup stock granules or paste concentrate added - see Step 2)
2 tablespoons - 30 ml
A. Grated garlic
to taste (be generous for the best flavor)
A. Toasted sesame seeds
to taste
A. Ra-yu (optional, if you like it spicy)
a small amount
I used a 20 cm diameter Staub pot for the steamed chicken.
Chicken thigh
1 thigh
Salt
1/2 teaspoon - 2.5 ml
B. Water
40 ml
B. Sake
20 ml
The white part of a Japanese leek
1 stalk worth
Ginger (sliced)
to taste

Steps

1. Make the bang bang chicken sauce: Mix the A. ingredients together well, and chill in the refrigerator. It will thicken when it's chilled and become more tasty.
2. If you steam your chicken in a Staub cocotte, use the cooking liquid from the chicken in the sauce recipe instead of the chicken soup stock.
3. Arrange steamed or boiled chicken thigh, breast meat or tenders on a plate with vegetables of your choice, and serve with the bang bang chicken sauce.
4. From here on I'll describe how to make very tender and juicy steamed chicken easily.
5. First, as an alternative to the method described below, take a look at (Recipe ID: 1085283) for "Really Tender Boiled Chicken with 2 Sauces". I can't recommend it highly enough.
6. I've cooked countless chicken thighs and breasts with this recipe. It's easy, and cooked just enough that it's cooked through and still really tender.
7. The other method uses a Staub pot to make tender and juicy steamed chicken. If you have a Staub, please give it a try.
8. Take a boneless chicken thigh out of the refrigerator 1 hour before you will cook it. Prepare it by removing any sinew, etc. Rub salt into both sides, and leave it out at room temperature.
9. Put the B. ingredients and the prepared chicken thigh in a Staub pot. Put the C. ingredients on top of the chicken, and set the heat to medium.
10. When the water in the pot is bubbling, put the lid on and count to 30 (seconds).
11. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible on your hob. Set a timer to 4 minutes.
12. After 4 minutes, take the lid off with your right hand (if you are right-handed), and flip the chicken thigh over while holding onto the lid. Replace the lid immediately.
13. After the lid is back on, set the timer to 5 minutes.
14. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off. With the lid still on, leave the pot for at least 40 minutes. The chicken continues to cook in residual heat and absorb flavor.
15. If you're making the bang bang chicken sauce... in Step 14, just before you turn the heat off, quickly remove 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to use in the sauce.
16. Tender and juicy steamed chicken is done. Slice as you like and serve in your favorite dishes. It's delicious eaten plain too.
17. To cook 2 chicken thighs I use a 22 cm Cocotte Ronde. For 2 thighs, cook for 6 minutes in Step 11 and 6 minutes in Step 13.
18. If you aren't serving the chicken right away, refrigerate it pot and all, or transfer the contents of the pot including the soup to a tightly sealing storage container. Immerse the chicken in the liquid so it doesn't dry out.
19. In either case, when the soup is chilled it will gellify. If you heat it up before eating in the microwave, the gellified soup will turn liquid again.
20. If you kept the chicken in the pot, the gellified soup will turn liquid again when you heat it up a bit.
21. Attention: The chicken is cooked using the minimum heat needed to cook it through while still retaining its tenderness, so be sure not to overcook it in Steps 19 and 20.
22. Attention: When I specify "medium heat" in all the steps, I don't mean the middle setting of the hob; I mean "medium heat" in relation to the size of the pot you're using.
23. On my cooktop, using a 22 cm diameter Staub Cocotte Ronde, I set the heat on the hob to a bit to the right of center.

Story Behind this Recipe

Since last year, I've been writing up our family recipes that are popular. It's hard work!
The method of cooking steamed chicken in a Staub cocotte is my adaptation of a method described in a cookbook.