Gunpowder chicken with dried red chillies & peanuts

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

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:10 mins
    Plus marinating
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 306
  • fat 17g
  • saturates 4g
  • carbs 9g
  • sugars 4g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 29g
  • salt 2.7g


  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 900g), cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 15 whole dried bird's-eye chillies
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn, ground
  • bunch spring onions, cut into 2½ cm pieces
  • 50g whole roasted peanuts
  • 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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