Citizens, your noble and asbestos-palated TFD is a long-time chilehead and was in fact baptized as a newborn bairn at the very font of capsaicin!
This dish – despite its terrifying picture – is one of my favorites from the great and mountainous province of Sichuan and is in fact actually not very spicy! The chiles are NOT intended to be eaten, so as long as you keep them whole, the dish will be on the mild side.
Laziji (simplified Chinese: 辣子鸡; traditional Chinese: 辣子雞; pinyin: làzǐjī), is a classic Sichuan Chinese dish. It consists of marinated, deep-fried pieces of chicken stir-fried with Sichuan chili bean paste (doubanjiang), Sichuan peppers, garlic, and ginger.
Toasted sesame seeds and sliced spring onions are often used to garnish the dish. Diners use chopsticks to pick out the pieces of chicken, leaving the chilies in the bowl.
Laziji originated near Geleshan in Chongqing, where restaurateurs used small free-range chickens from nearby farms. This poultry became a signature export for Geleshan.
If at all possible, please try and use the genuine Sichuan “Heaven Facing Upwards” chili for this dish – you can purchase them from here. This site is also a great source for other Sichuanese ingredients and their attendant recipes!
The name “Chongqing” is actually the name of a city that is famous in Sichuan province for its cuisine – details are here.
Citizens, my version of this classic is one that I am fully confident you will enjoy in all of its brilliant red culinary glory!
Battle on – The Generalissimo