Gunpowder chicken with dried red chillies & peanuts

Gunpowder chicken with dried red chillies & peanuts

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 10 mins Plus marinating


Serves 6-8 as part of a buffet
This classic dish from the Chinese province of Sichuan isn't as spicy if you remove the chilli seeds - complete with a sticky, sweet and rich sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal306
  • fat17g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre1g
  • protein29g
  • salt2.7g
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  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thigh (about 900g), cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 15 whole dried bird's-eye chilli
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn, ground
  • bunch spring onions, cut into 2½ cm pieces
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 50g whole roasted peanut

For the sauce

  • 5 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
  • 4 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 4 tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, mixed into 1 tbsp water


  1. Marinate the chicken with the soy and leave to sit for 1 hr. If you don’t have time to marinate, don’t worry – but it does add extra flavour. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

  2. Using a wok and a small amount of the oil, sear the chicken in batches. When it’s all browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Snip the stems from the chillies and shake out the seeds. Add the remaining oil and cook the chillies for 1 min, shaking the pan constantly to prevent them burning. Add the chicken back in with the peppercorns, spring onions and peanuts, then stir-fry for 1 min more. Add the sauce and stir for a few mins more until thickened.

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Comments (17)

Suffolk Primrose's picture

Yum yum! Used half dried chilli and no seeds - still had good kick.
Chinese black vinegar sub with 1 part each balsamic and rice wine vinegar with 3 parts water. Serve with stir fried greens with oyster sauce (which includes rice noodles) though personally I think that dish could do with more veg. Fab.

acurnock's picture

First time I cooked this I didn't have all the ingredients and my husband loved it, second time I had all the ingredients and we both said it was fantastic.

Don't adjust the recipe follow it exactly and you will love it!

thunsley's picture

Absolutely delicious! I've cooked as per the recipe several time and it always come out fabulous. I get my ingredients from a local Asian food shop which is in expensive and the owner is very helpful

jessica_mann's picture

I was pretty disappointed with this, I am experienced in Asian cooking and had already obtained the ingredients from local asian shop so was confident in trying this recipe. I did not use the dried red chillis, just one chilli without seeds as did not want to risk too much heat, although I love spicy food, my partner is not so keen. I added some courgette and mushrooms, I didn't have any chicken stock in (shock! Day before a big cupboard restock!) so used veg stock, felt it was a waste of a stock cube for using such a small amount so I used the left over batch of veg stock to do cous cous for lunches and will prob use the rest to do a soup... anyway, so cooking it was easy enough, I also used chicken breast as was all I had in freezer. I think whats disappointing is the sauce is way too strong and dark, I served it with my own recipe for egg fried rice- fry garlic, chilli, ginger and spring onion and celery with cooked brown rice and eggs, the ginger lifted the taste in the sauce, I decided to decant the chicken and veg from the sauce and mixed it with a tbsp of sweet chilli with the rice and this improved it. I think if you don't have the ingrediants in the house it's a lot of hassle and expense for a disappointing dish.

hjv's picture

Very tasty although will alter the amount of soy next time... my hand slipped! A splash too much I reckon, I served it with noodles and was really tasty.

suzymmorton's picture

Really tasty. I couldn't get hold of Sichuan peppercorns and so just used black peppercorns. I also omitted the Chinese black vinegar and used 1 chilli with seeds for enough food for 2 people; it still tasted really good (and plenty hot enough).

jayjayjojo's picture

Hardly ever not finish a meal but I could not finish this, really disappointing , it looked so nice but the taste was terrible , too strong, and it wasn't the hotness as I love spicy foods. Worst dinner I've had in a long time.

megkenny's picture

This turned out very well. Had difficulty finding the Sichuan peppercorns but got them online eventually.

jorine's picture

Best recipe I've ever tried from internet and signed up to tell you. Used low sodium Tamari, no sodium chicken broth (6 Tb), added 2 sliced & slightly cooked carrots & small amount of chopped precooked broccoli, 4 cloves minced garlic, and a generous handful of cooked rice noodles. Made in 2 batches, one with bird's-eye the other with 2 rehydrated ghost peppers. Husband was ecstatic with the ghost (I could not eat that one - wow!). The small amount of rice noodles really helped tie it all together. Thank You!

laurette64's picture

Very nice , I reduced the chillies by half to reduce heat , also changed the Soy sauce ratio to 3 tbsp of Dark Soy and 2tbsp of light Soy to reduce intensity.

thunsley's picture

Delicious! Will definitely make again. I bought the vinegar and wine at our local Asian food shop and thought they were very reasonable. All the family enjoyed this. Top makes

coconilla's picture

Very quick and easy. I substituted with leeks, red wine vinegar and chilli flakes, and added Chinese white pepper. It is a tasty variation on my usual chicken dinners.

petergoodman's picture

Great recipe, very simple and tasty. A slight warning about the cost of the rice win and special vinegar would be useful, maybe with links to other recipes that an use these up.

jenniferatkinson's picture

I don't eat poultry or red meat, but this looks fab. Do you think it would work with fish or tofu?

vondoyle1's picture

Oops just worked out how to rate, definitely top marks

vondoyle1's picture

Made this last night and apart from turning out very dark it was fabulous , great heat. I cooked it for two so divided the thighs but kept the same amounts for the sauce. My husband says its on the definite to make again list. For some reason I can't rate it but it would definitely get a 10/10.

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