Dai Grilled Chicken
From: Beyond the Great Wall
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Marinade time: as long as it takes to heat your grill/oven (can marinate overnight)
Roast/grill time: 20 minutes
3 lb/1.3 kg whole chicken (or already cut into serving portions)
4-5 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp salt
1½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns, (also called prickly ash or clavier and found at Asian markets) toasted and then ground essential to the dish
1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
olive oil (just to drizzle over chicken before roasting)
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, slowly toast the Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant (about 4 minutes). Allow to cool for a minute or two and, either using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder (I use my coffee grinder…just make sure to clean well before using for coffee), pulse to a coarse grind.
2. Place the garlic cloves in a bowl or mortar (or food processor) and salt and mash with pestle, wooden spoon (or my favorite…the pulse button on the f p) and blend. Add both kinds of ground peppers and blend well.
3. Cut the chicken into individual portions…thigh, leg, and breast/wing cut in half for faster cooking without drying out the meat. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken pieces and set aside. The chicken can be refrigerated overnight.
Roasting (my only option, these days)
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. If the chicken has been in the fridge, have it return to room temperature (about 20 minutes).
5. Place the chicken pieces, skin side up in a roasting pan or ovenproof deep dish. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken and roast in the center of the oven until the juices run clear or a meat thermometer registers 180°F/82°C ( 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of chicken parts)
4. Prepare a low fire in charcoal grill or medium-hot in gas grill.
5. Grill, covered for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally.
I served them over a salad of Dai style Pea Tendrils