Roast Chicken My Way
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons salt
1. Toast whole peppercorns in small, dry saucepan, cooking over medium heat just until they become fragrant. Remove from stove, add salt and set aside until cool enough to touch.
2. Rub warm salt and peppercorn mixture on the inside and outside of the chicken, under the skin and on top of it. Place chicken in a plastic bag, seal, and store in refrigerator overnight.
3. The following day, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. For a less salty chicken, rinse and pat dry. For a traditional flavor, do not rinse.
5. Place chicken on rack and roast for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until juices run clear
when you cut into thigh joint.
6. Transfer fully cooked chicken to a cutting board. Let rest 15 minutes before chopping into serving size pieces.
Flavored Tofu Quick and Delicious
1 piece boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 4 ounces
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce, divided use
1 teaspoon Chinese white cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 pound five spice dried tofu*
6 stalks Chinese celery or 4 stalks American celery
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cold water
*Dried five-spice tofu is sold in 8-ounce packages in most Chinese grocery stores
1. Slice the chicken into thin, small bite-size pieces. It is easier to cut if partially frozen. In a small bowl, mix chicken pieces with 1/3 cup soy sauce, wine, cornstarch and salt. Stir well to combine. Set aside.
2. Cut tofu squares into matchstick size pieces.
3. Cut Chinese celery into 2-inch pieces. For American celery, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
4. In a wok, heat oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add chicken and stir-fry one minute. Add tofu, stir to combine. Add remaining soy sauce, sugar and water. Liquid will quickly come to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Return heat to high, add celery, cook until celery is heated and liquid has almost evaporated. Serve immediately.