1 chicken (about 1.5kg)
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, sliced
rice, to serve
FOR THE SEASONINGS
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp sea salt flakes
4 spring onions, trimmed
1 slice ginger, finely chopped
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp rice wine or white wine vinegar
FOR THE SALAD
½ iceberg lettuce
1 small bunch coriander
- Fill a pan large enough to hold the chicken with 2.8 litres water. Add the ginger and bring to the boil. Add the chicken, bring back to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 mins. Then turn the heat right down and simmer very gently for 40 mins. Remove from the heat and leave the chicken to go cold in the liquid.
- Remove the chicken and cut it into pieces. You will need a large kitchen knife that is sharp enough to cut through chicken bones (poultry shears are also quite useful). Cut off the legs, cut them in 2 at the joint, then cut each thigh section in half. Now remove the breasts still on the bone from the carcass: cut horizontally just under the breasts from the cavity end of the chicken, through all the rib bones and down towards the wings. Separate the 2 breasts by cutting through the breast bone, then cut each breast into 3 pieces. Finally, cut off the wing bones. Remove the skin and arrange all the pieces on a cold serving platter.
- For the seasonings, heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan, add the Sichuan and black peppercorns, and shake them around until they become aromatic. Transfer to a mortar and coarsely grind with the pestle. Stir in the sea salt and transfer to one small dish. Thinly slice the spring onions and mix with the ginger and soy sauce in a second dish. Mix the chilli, sugar and vinegar together in a third dish.
- Tear the iceberg lettuce into chunky pieces. Pick small sprigs from the bunch of coriander and mix with the lettuce in a salad bowl. Take the chicken and salad to the table with the seasonings and serve with a bowl of rice.