Tea Smoked Chicken
`Tea-smoked chicken is a popular dish that is part of traditional Chinese cuisine, specifically the Sichuan cuisine.
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Sichuan peppercorns
- 12 ml (2 1/2 teaspoons) coarse salt
- 1.4-1.6 Kg (3- to 3 1/2-pound) chicken
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) loose Lapsang souchong tea or tea removed from 11 tea bags
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) packed dark brown sugar
- Sesame oil for brushing chicken
- In a dry, small, heavy skillet toast peppercorns over moderate heat, shaking skillet, 5 minutes. Cool peppercorns and with a mortar and pestle or in an electric coffee/spice grinder coarsely grind. In a small bowl stir together peppercorns and salt.
2. Pat chicken dry and rub inside and out with peppercorn mixture. Transfer chicken, breast side up, to a steamer and steam over boiling water, covered, 25 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. While chicken is steaming, line bottom and lid of a wok with heavy-duty foil. In wok stir together loose tea and brown sugar until combined well.
3. Arrange a metal rack about 5 cm (2 inches) above tea mixture and transfer chicken, breast side up, to rack in wok. Heat wok, covered, over moderately high heat until wisps of smoke begin to appear, 2 to 3 minutes, and smoke chicken, covered, 6 minutes. Turn chicken over and smoke, covered, 6 minutes more.
4. Remove wok from heat, and let chicken stand, covered, 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and brush lightly with oil.