“Big plate chicken” (大盘鸡, da pan ji) is like returning to one’s roots for those who have visited or lived in China. It’s one of those foods that has taken off in China’s major cities, and many restaurants have added it to their offerings. China’s Xinjiang region, where this Chinese chicken stew recipe originates, is known for its robust and flavorful spices.
大盘鸡, da pan ji makes me long for China and its delectable cuisine. We all miss being able to leave our apartments on our own, hail a three-dollar cab, and go out to eat for twenty to thirty bucks. It’s impossible to defeat it.
An actual giant plate of chicken should be prepared with a whole chicken sliced into tiny pieces with its bones and skin still attached. Chinese restaurants serve it this way, and it’s a well-known truth that Asians enjoy chewing on a bone while dining out (plus, meat tends to be more tender and juicier). We will use boneless chicken thighs instead of the complete chicken preparation process since I don’t want to put you through that.
The noodles in the lower section of the dish soak up all the delicious sauce, so I believe “large plate chicken” is good. This tasty one-dish meal is guaranteed to be a hit with your family!
FOR MARINATING THE CHICKEN:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp. of light soy sauce
- 1 tsp. of sesame oil
- 2 tsp. of shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch
FOR THE REST OF THE DISH:
- 3 tbsp. of oil
- 4 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 bay leaves
- 6 slices of fresh ginger
- 5 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
- 1 tbsp. of Sichuan peppercorns
- 6 -10 whole dried red chilies (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp. of sugar
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 carrot (thinly sliced)
- 2 tsp. of dark soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. of shaoxing wine
- 3 – 5 cups of water (start with 3 cups and add more as needed)
- 8 oz. of dried noodle of your choice (preferably a thicker-style flat noodle)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into chunks)
- 1 green bell pepper (cut into chunks)
- Salt to taste
- 1 scallion (sliced)
1. To begin, prepare the meat by marinating it for several hours. The marinade ingredients should be combined with the chicken thighs, which have been diced into bite-sized pieces—Prep the remaining ingredients while the meat sits in the fridge for around 20 minutes.
2. Pour some oil into a wok and heat it over medium-low heat until it shimmers. Ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, and chiles are all excellent additions. Make sure they don’t burn for 2 minutes as you cook this mixture. Increase the heat and add the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until it’s cooked through.
3. Stir-fry the potatoes and carrots for a few seconds before serving. Add 3 cups of water, the dark and light soy sauces, the Shaoxing wine, and the remaining ingredients. When it’s at a rolling boil, decrease the heat to medium-low—Cook for 15 minutes with the lid on the wok, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Bring a kettle of water to a boil while the chicken is cooking. To prepare the noodles, follow the package’s instructions. Drain.
5. To ensure enough water in the pan, add more water if necessary when the potatoes are done cooking. Toss the bell peppers with the onions in a wok. Continue to cook, covered, for a further five minutes. Salt the meal to your liking after tasting it. Toss the chicken and vegetables with your noodle mixture on a big platter, and serve immediately. Serve immediately with onions sprinkled on top!
6. Add a bit more water to the wok if you need extra sauce. Increase the heat to thicken the sauce if it’s too runny.