Sichuan Crackling Chicken – Pete Evans

Serves 4

Sichuan peppercorns are one of the most unique and tantalising spices on the planet, and they go particularly well with chicken. Sichuan peppercorns can tingle on the tongue and sometimes even make the mouth go numb – an unusual but fun experience.

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or good-quality animal fat*
  • 1 zucchini, spiralised
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, spiralised
  • 2 carrots, spiralised
  • 1⁄2 daikon, spiralised
  • 1 handful of bean sprouts
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes (add more if you like it extra spicy)
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves

Sichuan dressing

  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unhulled tahini
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) Chicken Bone Broth (page 195)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and ground


Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel, then place between two sheets of baking paper and pound with a meat mallet until about 1 cm thick. Season the skin with 2 teaspoons of salt.

Heat the coconut oil or fat in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down and in batches, season the exposed flesh with a little salt and fry, undisturbed, for 6–8 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Flip the chicken over and cook for 3–4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken, skin-side up, to a wire rack and leave to rest for 5 minutes, before thickly slicing.

To make the dressing, combine the coconut sugar
(if using), tamari and vinegar in a bowl, mix well and stand for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. Whisk in the tahini, then whisk in the oils and broth. Add the ginger and ground peppercorns and set aside.

Arrange the zucchini, cucumber, carrot, daikon and bean sprouts on serving plates. Place the chicken on top, then pour over the dressing and sprinkle on the spring onion, chilli flakes and coriander leaves.

NOTE: If you don’t have a spiraliser, finely slice the zucchini, cucumber, carrots and daikon lengthways, then cut into thin strips.

Easy Keto by Pete Evans, Published by Plum, RRP $ 24.99, Photography by William Meppem


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