Guizhou Braised Laziji, Spicy Chicken (贵州辣子鸡)

Guizhou Braised Laziji, Spicy Chicken (贵州辣子鸡)

If you’re familiar with Sichuanese food, you’re
probably familiar with Laziji – Sichuan spicy chicken. It’s one of those dishes that’s basically
synonymous with heat – in a proper Chongqing version there’s like more dried chilis than
there is chicken. But today we wanted to introduce you to a
dish from the neighboring Guizhou province also called – Lajizi. Same name, same climb up to the dizzying heights
of the Scoville scale, but it’s interestingly got decidedly different cooking method. This chicken’s braised, and so along with
the familiar hiccup-inducing heat it’s also obviously’s got that whole melt-in-your-mouth
deal going on. So. Right. To get started then with Guizhou Laziji, we’ll
need Guizhou chili paste. This stuff is called Ciba Lajiao, pounded
chili, and it’s fundamental to a number of Guizhou dishes. I’d bet serious money that Ciba Lajiao would
be impossible to buy outside of China though, so be sure to check out our recipe here if
you wanna whip up a big batch the proper way. That said, I always feel a twang of guilt
giving you guys a recipe that, in turn, relies on another multi-day project of a recipe like
Ciba chili paste. So today I’ll start off by showing you a quicker,
less intense version which you do sometimes see in many Guizhou kitchens. So. Let’s talk chilis. Traditionally Ciba lajiao uses a mix of three
parts Huaxi chilis, which clock in at around 20k SVU and have a great color, and two parts
Zunyi xiaomila, which’re closely related to and roughly as hot as Thai bird’s eye so…
quite spicy. But before you pull your hair out frantically
trying to find those specific chilis, know that the logic of why they’re used is vastly
more important than the cultivars themselves. I didn’t feel like sourcing Guizhou chilis
for this one, so for color I used 40 grams of Sichuan Erjingtiao chilis, but feel free
to go with anything that’s a medium heat and suitably red – Arbols or Cayennes should work
just fine. Then for heat? I used 25 grams of Sichuan Heaven facing,
but you could totally use Thai bird’s eye, African Piri Piri, or maybe Tianjin. But feel free to get creative – want to make
a Guizhou chili paste with Kashmiri Chilis and Carolina Reapers? I mean, sure… I’d be curious too. But however to decide just reconstitute your
chilis with hot boiled water and cover. Let them soak until soft, at least one hour
but overnight would be totally fine too. After that time, take out the chilis and wring
out a touch of the excess water. You don’t need to go too nuts here because
we do want some of that moisture. Then, to help those get started, first give
the chilis a rough slice. Then toss those in a mortar along with about
three cloves of roughly chopped garlic and an inch of smashed ginger. And then just settle in and… start pounding. If you’ve got a food processor feel free to
do this in there too… it’ll definitely save some sweat because this can be a bit
of a chore. After about 15 minutes of pounding, we’re
looking at some chilis that’re mostly broken down but… still having some flakes is completely
normal. Now at this point, if we were making a proper
batch of ciba chili paste we’d fry this stuff in spiced oil and leave out to ferment a couple
days… but I promise that using this stuff’ll get you 90% there for this dish. Now for the chicken. Yes. This is one of those Chinese poultry on the
bone dishes, which I know can be a… contentious subject. I’m an enormous proponent of chicken on the
bone so I’ll be using a 1.25 kilo bird cleaved across the bone. That said, if that prospect does seem daunting
to you, our recommendation would be to use chicken wings. It’d retain the same essence and… you know,
who doesn’t love a braised chicken wing? If you’ve like, you can also take your wings
and cleave them in half to get even closer to the Chinese style, but I tested this with
whole wings too and it’s also quite tasty. But either way, there’s actually no need to
marinate this… we can fry it directly. So we’ll be frying this chicken in about two
cups of oil in two separate batches. Here we’re using Chinese Caiziyou which’s
a virgin rapeseed oil that’s classic to the Chinese southwest but peanut oil would
also work just fine. So over max flame get the oil up to a blistering
200 centigrade and drop it in. Now as you can probably tell, we’re really
starting to flirt with crowding this thing – you can absolutely opt instead for a proper
deep fry with a more proper oil quantity, but we’ll be using this frying oil as the
base of our braise… thus the two cups. And because we’ll be braising this in the
end, there’s really no need to be too paranoid here… just get the chicken good and golden
brown, which was about five or six minutes on our stove for each batch. And with our all our chicken fried, we can
braise. So… at this point, evaluate your oil. You want there to be about a cup, cup and
a half of oil remaining. It’s gunna feel like a lot of oil, but trust
that you do have to start with a solid amount get a properly red base – you can always
dip some out later on in the cooking process. So then over a medium flame get the oil up
until its bubbling around a pair of chopsticks. Now toss in two inches of smashed ginger and
one head’s worth of garlic cloves. Fry those until fragrant, about a minute,
then swap the flame to low. Now go in with your chili paste – we ended
up yielding 175 grams in all – the low heat’s needed to make sure the chilis don’t scorch. Stir and fry until the oil itself’s changed
color, or about three minutes, then go in with an optional but recommended three tablespoons
of Pixian Doubanjiang, chili bean paste. See, if you’re using a more complex ciba
lajiao, you really don’t need that chili bean paste… but using the kind of quick
paste we made today we’d really suggest it. Now fry that for another couple minutes, and
at this point your base should be obviously stained. Then go in with your chicken, give it a good
mix to coat with the red oil, then add in a half a liter of water… we’re working
at a ratio of one part oil to two parts water. Then swap the flame to high, bring to a boil,
turn your flame to the lowest heat your stove’ll go and cover. Quick note though that these sorts of wok
lids aren’t exactly airtight and still allow for reduction, so if you’re working with
a heavier lid make sure to leave a sizable crack. We’ll want the liquid to be about 90% reduced,
which does take a while, so crack a beer, relax, and check on the guy periodically. 90 minutes later, this’s what we’re looking
at. At this point, if you’re finding things
too oily feel free to scoop out a bit – it makes for a great chili oil substitute – and
if things are looking watery, you can uncover and swap the flame to high to finish the reduction. We were looking good though, so then season
with two teaspoons sugar and one teaspoon MSG. No skipping the MSG this time, it is important
to balance the spice. Brief mix, then go in with three sprigs of
green garlic cut into inch and a half sections. White portions first which take a little longer
to cook, so give that a one minute mix, and drop in the green parts. If you can’t source green garlic by the
way, feel free to sub that for scallion. Quick mix, heat off, and… out. Guizhou laziji, done. So in Guiyang for this kind of meat stew dishes,
besides eating it straight up like this, there’s another way of eating it… which is called
“Gangguo” dry pot. What you do is that you basically finish eating
all the meat, and then you put some broth in, and you add some vegetables, mushrooms,
tofu… and turn it into a hotpot kind of dish. Which is really delicious, and my favorite
is the one that you put in the tomato broth and turn it into like a tomato-chicken-hotpot. It’s really awesome. Right! So check out the Reddit link in the description
box for a detailed recipe… a big thank you for everyone that’s supporting us on Patreon…
and of course, subscribe for more Chinese cooking videos.

28 thoughts on “Guizhou Braised Laziji, Spicy Chicken (贵州辣子鸡)”

  1. looks good as always i wish i could make it it's too bad this country is diverse but doesn't have diverse ingredients without spending a pretty penny on online buying.

  2. Happy for you guys that your channel is growing, I remember thinking it would when I subbed when you had ~30k subs. Nobody was really doing this kind of content that I'm aware of at least.

  3. I really want to try this, or at least something very near to this.
    You didn't say how to serve it. I guess with fan (that's rice, trying out my Chinese).
    But also with a veggie dish or what. I guess I'm asking if dishes are typically served alone or is it likely that there would be several dishes on the table?

  4. Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. So I didn’t include a visual of this, but for that 1.25 kilos of chicken we did two batches, 5-6 minutes each until golden brown. Feel free to pan-fry, and I’ve seen legit recipes that call for stir-frying too. Hell you might even be able to coat with oil and bake/broil if you’re feeling so inclined. To idea is just to brown the chicken and cook it through.

    2. Just a quick note that in the video, for that amount of chilis with our size mortar we did two batches… each 15 minutes. Yeah, that sucks. The way to go is either (a) food processor or (b) one of those hugely massive southeast Asian mortars. We own neither, so… yeah. Another approach you can do is pulse in a blender for a bit, scrape down the sides, repeat a couple times… then transfer to a mortar bit by bit to finish the job (only needs ~5 minutes or so of pounding for the lot of it in that case). It’s what I did during testing, but it’s sorta a less than ideal ad hoc approach.

    3. So when I referred to this a melt-in-your-mouth, I was planning on including a caption “cliché as hell, I know”, but… forgot. I’m uh… self-aware, promise. As an aside, I’m really curious why “MELT IN YOUR MOUTH” and “FALL OFF THE BONE” are nearly universally viewed as the epitome of meat textures in the Anglophone world. It’s easy to make something all mouth-melty-bone-fally – all you need is time, really. It’s much harder to achieve springy textures (e.g. meatballs) or that sort of firm-yet-easily-pull-from-the-bone texture (e.g. Cantonese Dim Sum ribs). But hey, braised dishes are awesome, so… no harm I guess.

    4. So the very most traditional Guizhou Laziji are ciba chili paste, chicken, garlic, ginger and… not much else (well, oil and water I guess). The chili bean paste is a more modern addition, but I’d venture that ~80% of recipes include it. Again, if you’ve got a batch from our dedicated ciba chili paste recipe, feel free to omit the chili bean paste entirely. If you go that route, it’ll definitely throw off the salinity though… so together with the sugar and MSG season with salt in the end as well. I’d start with ~1 tsp and then taste from there.

    5. An experiment that I’d like to do (but haven’t gotten around to yet) is making this stuff with habaneros – I goddam adore the whole Capsicum chinense species. Spicy, tastes great. Interestingly, there’s actually only one “Capsicum chinense” in China – Hainan lantern. Would definitely need something crazy red so that the whole thing isn’t an orangish hue… a Korean red maybe? Anyway, if you’re experimenting obviously use dried chilis.

    6. As we said in our chili paste video, instead of the mix of chilis you could use Tianjin chilis – i.e. Tien Tsin. They’re quite hot (~80k SVU IIRC?) and have a solid color, so you could swap the whole lot of chilis for those if you like… I think. Never tested it myself because as far as I know that cultivar is actually grown specifically for the export market.

    7. Again, apologies that I’m a bit less responsive to comment that I have in the past. Here’s the deal: I don’t get notifications anymore for comments unless someone tags us – in order to find new comments I need to go into the analytics page, then click into the comments part. But I… actively avoid looking at analytics, opting instead to check them out weekly when we post. Why? Well… my educational background’s actually finance. In behavioral finance, there’s a concept whose name is unfortunately escaping me… basically, it examines how people make decisions when given information on the state of their portfolio more or less often. What they find is that the more often someone checks on their portfolio, the more they overreact to random movements in the market – the person that never looks at their investments tend to be better off in the end than someone that looks daily. That YouTube gives such detailed realtime analytics is a big reason (1) why you see such absurd clickbait on YouTube today and (2) why many YouTubers burnout. Like the ebbs and flows of a stock market, the views at any given hour for any YouTube channel is essentially random – people tend to overreact to temporary dips in viewcount (thus the clickbait) and, like Skinner’s rats getting random reinforcement, it has the potential to drive you a little crazy if you’re not careful. So… yeah. Tag us in a comment or hit me up on Reddit if you’ve got a question or whatever.

  5. I was gunna say you could save the excess base and freeze it for a quick weekday meal. But that was before the hotpot recommendation; my God that sounds amazing

  6. Pardon my ignorance.
    You mention chicken wings as an alternative, which makes sense.
    My question is, would chicken thighs work?
    TY for teh cool videos 🙂

  7. Do you have any experience with swapping dry chinese chilis with dry mexican chilis, aside from arbols? I once used guajillos for your dapaji recipe and i got nearly the same result, but i was thinking about how else i could sub ancho, california, again guajillo or any other whenever needed.

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