Ban-ban ji (beaten chicken)

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 pounds Chicken breast; poached & shredded
5 tablespoons Ginger, fresh; finely chopped
7 \N Garlic clove; finely chopped
12 tablespoons Tahini
12 tablespoons Red oil
4 teaspoons Chinese vinegar
4 tablespoons Soy sauce
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Szechuan \"flower\" pepper ground
5 tablespoons Sesame oil
\N \N Source: The Good Food of Szechuan, by Robert Delfs,
\N \N Kodansha Int'l, Tokyo
\N \N per Edward Rice
\N \N Fidonet COOKING echo

Poach the chicken breasts very gently, for about 20 minutes total.

Leave them in the water to cool down. Shred them into matchstick sized pieces of chicken (you can decide whether it's big kitchen matches or little, book matches).

Mix all the other ingredients in a kitchen blender or food processor until well-blended. (This recipe, very minimally adapted from the book noted below, is a double recipe. My blender, all 650 watts of brute horsepower, had trouble moving the entire quantity once the lower part was well- blended -- it would have been better to have made this in two regular- sized batches, rather than one double-sized batch.)

Serve the room-temperature sauce over the room-temperature chicken.

(Obviously, can be prepared well ahead of time. Don't shred the chicken until at most a few hours before the meal, however, because it will dry out.) Suggestion: spoon half the sauce over the chicken just before it's served; reserve the other half for people who want extra "zip" in their dish. Garnishes optional.

Caution: direct from the cookbook, this produces a fairly spicy sauce to put on the chicken. But for people who REALLY want a hot dish, you can add an almost arbitrary amount of red oil (pepper oil) to the dish, maybe just cutting back on the sesame oil or the soy sauce if you do so. I've had this dish so hot that my lips went numb -- best "bung-bung" (as it's usually spelled) chicken in the world!

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