Photograph by Issy Croker
You can either use chicken carcasses left over from other dishes as chefs and co-founders Tongtong Ren and Peiran Gong do at Chinese Laundry, the home-style Chinese restaurant on Upper Street, or pick them up cheaply from your local butcher. This isn't a dish for the faint-hearted – the only way to get to all that flavoursome meat is to roll up your sleeves and dig in.
- 2 large free-range chicken carcasses
For the marinade
- 110g Sichuan bean curd sauce
- 30g chopped and peeled fresh garlic
- 20g dark soy sauce
- 80g Shaoxing cooking wine
- 100g honey
For the Sichuan spice rub
- 2 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground sea salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
For the dip
- 250ml lemon juice
- 5 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsb chilli powder
- Blend together the ingredients for the marinade and set aside, then do the same for the dip.
- To make the spice rub, toast the Sichuan peppercorns and the cumin seeds. Mix all the ingredients together.
- Blanch the carcasses: cover them in cold water in a pot, bring to boil, then leave in medium heat for five minutes. Take out the carcasses, wash the extra fat and impurities off with cold water, and leave to dry – if it’s wet, it’ll be difficult to apply the marinade.
- Brush the marinade on the outside and the inside of the carcass and set in the fridge for two hours.
- Heat up a fairly deep pot of oil (enough to cover the carcass) to 180°C and deep-fry for three minutes until the marinated surface of the carcass gets crispy.
- Gently apply a kitchen towel on the fried carcass to remove extra oil on the surface.
- Get a tray, pour the Sichuan spices in, and rub them all over the carcass, making sure it’s completely covered. Serve on a board alongside the dip and get stuck in.