Kou Shui Ji（口水鸡） is one of the signature Sichuan dishes. The word in Chinese means mouthwatering chicken.
It is a cold appetizer made from boiled chicken and chili oil. It’s a very creative dish with a great attention to the texture and flavor balance of different ingredients.
The chicken is soaked in ice water after boiling to give the skin a wonderful texture. The chili oil, the essential part of this dish requires a perfect balance of spiciness and savoriness. Toasted and crushed peanuts on the other hand add a crunchy texture while relieving the mouth burning spiciness of the dish.
- Chili Oil:
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 tbs red chili flakes
- 1 tbs Chinese peppercorns
- For the Chicken:
- 2 chicken legs
- 4-5 scallions
- 3 tbs cooking wine
- ice water
- roasted peanuts
- toasted sesame seeds
- chopped cilantro(if desired)
- Soy vinegar sauce:
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs vinegar
- 1/2 tbs sugar
- 1 garlic (chopped)
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- Step 1: The Chicken
- Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 3 tbs cooking wine and 2 slices of ginger. Heat the pot on high heat, uncovered.
- After the water starts boiling, keep heating for another 5 minutes then remove the chicken and run cold water over the chicken. This process is to remove the blood and the meat odor out of the chicken and to keep the flavor clean. (*This is an important step as the chicken is going to be served cold.)
- Put the chicken back into a clean pot. Add water, scallions and ginger. Boil for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
- Turn off the heat and let the chicken sit for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a large bowl of ice water. Let the chicken chill in the ice water for 20 minutes. (*This process is essential to make the chicken skin chewy and crunchy, which makes this dish so unique.)
- Slice the chicken into thick slices.
- Step 2: Toppings and sauce
- Crush peanuts. Toast peanuts and sesame seeds for a better aroma.
- Put 3 tbs chili flakes and 1 tsp Chinese peppercorn powder into a small bowl.
- Heat 0.5 cup vegetable oil. Turn off the heat before it starts smoking. Let the oil sit for a few seconds (pouring the oil when it’s too hot may burn the chili flakes), then pour the oil over the chili flakes and peppercorn powder.
- Strain the mixture of oil and chili flakes.
- Step 3: Finishing up
- Place chopped scallions and sliced chicken on a bowl.
- Pour over the soy vinegar sauce and chili oil.
- Add crushed peanuts, sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.