Friends and esteemed colleagues. The one chicken dish to rule them all. Earthy mushroom flavour matched perfectly with heat from freshly cracked pepper. Crispy breaded chicken. It’s a flavour and texture combination as complex as your mind can imagine. This dish has an obvious Chinese influence but the execution is entirely modern. It’s a dish for grown ups who like not only hot and spicey food but also appreciate deep flavour with succulent chicken on the bone goodness.

If served with rice this recipe will feed 6 people.

Ingredients Sauce

  • 12 swiss brown or Button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 fresh shitaake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Inches ginger pealed and chopped 
  • 1½ cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 desert spoon heavy sesame oil
  • 2 desert spoon quality soy sauce
  • 2 desert spoon sweet soy sauce 
  • ¾ Cup Chinese Cooking wine sherry is perfectly good analogue
  • 1 ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 desert spoon corn flour
  • vegetable oil for frying approx 1 tablespoon

Sauce Method 

  1. Saute your mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger in a wok or large skillet on a high flame until tender. Add the black pepper then deglaze the wok with the chinese cooking wine. Allow for the alcohol to evaporate or burn off approx 1-2 minutes. Add the sweet and regular soy and reduce flame to a medium simmer.
  2. Whisk your corn flour into your cold chicken stock and then gradually add to your sauted mushrooms. Allow the sauce to cook out gently for approximately 10 – 12 minutes. When the sauce begins to thicken tun off the gas and add the sesame oil. Set aside

Ingredients Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken cut into 22 pieces bone on. Alternatively 1 kg of chicken tenderloin would be ok if you don’t like bones
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • 1 tsp chinese 5 spice
  • 2 tsp grey salt
  • ½ tsp fine white pepper
  • 1 egg

Fried Chicken Method

 Before we begin, rinse the chicken pieces under cold running water and then pat dry  with some paper towel. Preheat cooking oil for frying to 180 degrees celsius. Its best to work in 2 or 3 separate batches. So setup a bowl for wet, a bowl for the dry flour, and a wire rack to allow excess oil to drain off the fried chicken.

  1. In a large bowl add the chicken pieces and then the crack open the egg and add a tsp of corn flour. Mix the chicken pieces thoroughly so as to be completely coated in the egg.
  2. Add the flour, corn starch, salt, pepper and Chinese 5 spice to a separate large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a dry whisk or fork.
  3. Add 5 or 6 chicken pieces to the dry breading flour making sure to cover all parts of the chicken. Once completely covered in the flour, shake off any excess and deep fry for 6-7 minutes . Transfer cooked chicken to a wire rack to allow excess oil to drain.

Please remember the larger pieces like the drumstick will take slightly longer to cook. If you are unsure you can test with a probe thermometer. Internal temperature should be above 85-90 degrees centigrade.

Ok lets marry the chicken to the sauce and bring it all together.

This is very much a last minute step. You will want everyone to be seated while you perform this final task. The cooked chicken will need to be hot either straight out of the deep fryer or re heated in an oven. How you do that is kind of up to you.

Bring the sauce to a rolling boil and add your crispy fried chicken. This is best to be done in a large wok that will give you room to move all the chicken freely. I like to use a large slotted spoon for this task. Serve and garnish immediately. Enjoy

I like to serve this dish with steamed white rice and a garnish of  finely sliced green onion, fresh chilli and been sprouts.

Chinese Pepper Fried Chicken with mushroom Soy Sauce

Wine/Beverage matching.

Because this chicken dish has the flavour of  mushroom you can get away with serving this with a light red wine like a Pinot Noir . It would also work very well with a more complex white wine like a cold climate Gewürztraminer where the flavour of lychee will be a good balance to the hot pepper.