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Tea-Smoked Peking Chicken

 Tea-Smoked Peking Chicken
This whole chicken is simmered in an aromatic soy-based broth, then smoked. A mixture of rice, tea leaves and brown sugar is used to smoke this traditional chicken dish giving it a distinctly unique flavor. —May Der, South Pasadena, California
6 ServingsPrep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 70 minutes + standing

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 whole broiler/fryer chicken (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 slices fresh gingerroot
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup loose black tea leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

  • Place peppercorns in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle; grind
  • until coarsely ground. Place peppercorns and salt in a dry small
  • skillet; toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic,
  • stirring occasionally. Cool completely.
  • Pat chicken dry; rub peppercorn mixture over the outside and inside
  • of chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • In a stockpot, combine the water, soy sauce, green onions, ginger,

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Tea-Smoked Peking Chicken (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • star anise, cinnamon stick and five-spice powder; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for
  • 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads
  • 180°, turning chicken once. Remove chicken; discard cooking
  • liquid.
  • Line the bottom of a clean stockpot with a double thickness of foil.
  • Sprinkle the rice, tea leaves and brown sugar over foil; place a
  • wire rack over rice mixture. Place chicken on rack breast side up.
  • Cook over low heat until rice mixture begins to smoke. Cover pot
  • tightly with foil; place lid on top. Smoke for 25-30 minutes or
  • until chicken is golden brown.
  • Remove chicken; brush with sesame oil. Let stand 15 minutes before
  • carving. Chicken may also be served cold. To serve cold, cool
  • chicken slightly; cover and refrigerate until chilled. Yield: 6
  • servings.
Editor's Note: Look for Sichuan or Szechuan peppercorns in Asian markets or visit penzeys.com.
Wine: Full-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.