Good Food Gunpowder Chicken with Dried Red Chillies and Peanuts

Magazine: Good Food
Issue: February 2013
Recipe Rating:
Difficulty Rating:


Any recipe named Gunpowder Chicken is going to catch my attention, so lo and behold when I spotted this one in February 2013's BBC Good Food magazine, it was a shoe-in. There were a few ingredient sourcing challenges - I managed to get a very large bag of Sichuan peppercorns from my perennially favourite Thai emporium, Thai Smile near Ravenscourt Park tube in west London, for £1.79. Bart's also provide these in their small spice bottles in Waitrose stores, although obviously at an astonishingly high pro rata rate.

for the first time Thai Smile let me down though - no Chinese black vinegar. They did stock a couple of inky black bottles of potents but since the assistant in the store didn't have a high degree of confidence either were what I wanted, I elected not to purchase. This time Waitrose came to the rescue - their larger stores stock it, and I picked up mine from Fulham Broadway branch. The magazine specified a particular brand of sake rice wine, but since that wasn't readily available, I bought an alternative.

Yet again the magazine didn't help in figuring out ingredient measurements. The magazine suggested the recipe was for the somewhat generic 6-8, so I scaled it down approximately 2/3rds give or take. The recipe was very easy to make, although be careful that the chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving. The result wasn't actually dynamite hot, but it was plenty warm for me and was a very tasty meal.

Changes from Published Recipe

I had bits and pieces of meat to eat up - a chicken breast and a chicken thigh. There was a marked difference in cutting these pieces up and ultimately in their taste. The thigh is a tougher piece of meat but has more flavour, whilst the breast was very tender and was still succulent.

What the recipe doesn't mention (an odd omission) is that it really needs to be served with rice or (my preference) noodles. This would offset the sharpness of the gunpowder and provide a balance to the dish.