XinJiang’s “Big Plate of Chicken” Recipe – Da Pan Ji (新疆大盘鸡)

Da Pan Ji is a because it means a big plate of chicken. The chicken is stir-fried first, then stewed with potato pieces and served on top of noodles. It was created in the 1980s along the highway in Sha Wan, Xinjiang. It was made to fit truck drivers’ tastes, so it has lots of influence from many provinces.

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Xinjiang's "Big Plate of Chicken" - Da Pan Ji

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb of chicken
  • 1.5 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of 5 spice powder
  • White pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 8-10 pieces of the white part of the scallion
  • 6-8 slices of ginger
  • 10 - 15 cloves of garlic use half to stir fry and reserve 5 pieces to add at the end
  • 1 red onion cut into big pieces
  • 5-6 pieces of green pepper
  • 3-4 pieces of red pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn
  • 4 tbsp of Sichuan Dou Ban Jiang
  • 4 pieces of dried Xin Jiang Xian La Jiao chili Can be switched with Guajillo chili, soaked
  • 2 tbsp of water This is for blending the chili paste
  • 1.5 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 3-4 big potatoes

Instructions

  • Chop a whole chicken into big chunks. If you don’t want to deal with bone-in chicken, you can use boneless chicken thigh instead.
  • Marinate the chicken with 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1.5 tsp of salt, 1.5 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of five-spice powder, and some white pepper to taste. Mix well and let that sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Use scissors to cut 4 pieces of Guajillo chili open. Soak the chili in hot water for 10 -15 minutes.
  • Blend the soaked Guajillo chili with 4 tbsp of Pi Xian Dou Ban Jiang. Let it go through a sieve to get rid of the stubborn seeds. Set it aside.
  • Peel and cut 3-4 potatoes into big chunks. Soak the potato in water so they don’t turn brown while we are working on other ingredients.
  • Cut 1 medium-size red onion into big pieces.
  • Use the roll cutting technique to cut some green chili pepper and some red chili pepper.
  • Crush 10 pieces of garlic; we will use 5 for the stir fry and reserve the rest to add at the end.
  • Cut 8-10 scallions into 2.5 inches long. Separate the white and green part. We only need the white part for this dish.
  • We will also need 6-8 slices of ginger.
  • Add 4 tbsp of oil and 4 tbsp of sugar to the wok. Caramelize the sugar on low heat until it changed to a red or brown color, and the sugar is bubbling in the wok. Quickly toss in the marinade chicken and turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Stir the chicken until it is coated with the caramelized sugar. Then, add in the crushed garlic, the ginger slices, the white part of scallion, and the sichuan peppercorns.
  • Continue to stir for 5 minutes until you can see that there is more oil appearing in the wok because the chicken will provide some fat.
  • Turn the heat to low again. Add 1.5 tbsp of soy sauce and the chili paste that we blend.
  • Stir the chili paste for a minute or 2. Mix it with the chicken. Continue to cook until all the chicken is coated with that nice glossy sauce. Then add 4 cups of water.
  • Cover the lid. Use high heat to bring this wok to a boil. Then turn the heat to low. Now we can taste and adjust the flavor. I add about 1 tbsp of salt here. You want it to taste a lot saltier because we still have a lot of potatoes, chilies and onion on the side that we will add later.
  • The chicken takes much longer to cook than potatoes, so we will let this simmer on low for 30 minutes and then add the potatoes. Continue cooking for another 20 minutes or until both the potato and chicken are soft and tender.
  • Toss in the reserved garlic, red onion, and the chili pepper. Give it a final stir and you are done.

Video

Notes

This dish is often served on top of Ku Dai Mian (Biang Biang Noodles - https://youtu.be/8qRkGGia3PI) or other types of wide noodles.
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