12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 900g), cut into pieces
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
15 whole dried bird’s-eye
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn, ground
bunch spring onions, cut into 2½ cm pieces
50g whole roasted peanuts
For the sauce
5 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
4 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
4 tbsp chicken stock
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed into 1 tbsp water
Marinate the chicken with the soy and leave to sit for 1 hr. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a wok with a small amount of the oil until very hot, sear the chicken in batches. When it’s all browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Snip the stems from the chillies and shake out the seeds. If you want, keep the seeds in some of the chillies for more of an authentic Sichuan kick. Add the remaining oil and cook the chillies for 1 min, shaking the pan constantly to prevent them burning. Then the chicken back in with the peppercorns, spring onions and peanuts, then stir-fry for 1 min more. Add the sauce and stir for a few mins more until thickened.
Serve with plain boiled rice or egg fried rice.