The ginger for this dish should be young, tender and not too strong. If using mature ginger, halve the amount.
1 x 1.5 kg/3 lb roasting chicken
5 cm/2 in piece tender ginger
1 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 tablespoons Chinese wine or sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 star anise
1 tablespoon honey
Rinse and dry chicken, cut off tail, making sure the oil glands on either side are removed with it, as well as any excess fat from within the cavity. Chop chicken into pieces.
Wash ginger and cut into fine slices, then lay the slices on a board and cut them into thin shreds to give about 2 tablespoons. Roast the Szechwan peppercorns (without seeds) in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant, then crush with a pestle or place between folded paper and crush with a heavy bottle. Crush garlic to a paste with the salt.
Heat a wok over high heat, add the peanut oil and on low heat fry ginger and garlic until fragrant, without browning. Add crushed chicken, raise heat and fry until the chicken changes colour. Sprinkle with peppercorns, and add wine, soy sauce, star anise and honey. Cover the wok, lower heat and simmer until chicken is tender, 20-30 minutes. If necessary, add a little water to wok. Serve with rice.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)