This jam you guys. So good. All I can say is YUM.
And the chicken, juicy and OMG so flavorful.
Let me introduce you to my new obsession: dunking pieces of sichuan pepper chicken into tomato-chili jam. BAM! Just like that.
I don’t know why I haven’t been making this over and over before. For real.
Can you just imagine it in your mouth right now? It’s soy sauce salty, Sichuan peppercorn tarty, tomato sugary, and chili pepper fiery all in one bite. IT’S SO AMAZING.
Let’s back up a little bit though, and talk about this tomato-chili jam.
Although I call it jam, I don’t mean by this that it’s the sort of thing you’d spread on a toast at breakfast - though smeared on crispy bacon, I think it can be a tasty way to start the morning.
Think about it as a sort of grown-up version of tomato ketchup.
Not like I have anything against ketchup. I’m definitely not one of those pretentious foodies who gag at the sight of ketchup - because it’s mundane, because it’s mainstream, because blah blah blah...
I genuinely like ketchup. Ketchup is awesome. It makes you feel good and reminds you of your lost youth, of warm summer days, swimming pools, and football games.
But, as an adult, I think that this tomato-chili jam is more sophisticated than catsup - it’s deliciously sweet with just the right amount of spiciness.
Another thing we should discuss is using tomatoes in a jam.
Never done it before? Then you might want to reconsider that.
Because tomatoes are a fruit just like strawberries, apple or peaches. Even though we normally use them as savory ingredients, their texture and aroma lends itself to sweet concoctions.
Tomatoes are good at making jam just like the next strawberry.
The tomato-chili jam has the wow-factor in abundance and can jazz up the most humble veggie and give a kick to many different dishes. Try it spread on corn on the cob instead of butter, or with cheese...thank me later.
Sichuan Pepper Chicken
1 lb / 453 gr free-range organic chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons cooking wine (ideally rice wine)
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (or 3 teaspoons ground sichuan pepper)*
2 tablespoons organic wheat-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
Handful of chopped fresh mint
*alternatively, you can sub it with 2 teaspoons of Chinese five-spice
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 shallots (or 1 medium onion) finely chopped
3 large mild red chiles, seeded and chopped
1 lb / 453 gr ripe tomatoes, diced
1 can (14 oz / 400 gr) whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 120 gr raw coconut palm sugar (I used Madhava)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
To make the tomato-chili jam, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan (preferably with a thick bottom) over medium-heat. Add ginger, shallots and chiles and saute’ until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add 5 tablespoons of water and sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
Turn up the heat to high and caramelize the sugar for about 2 minutes.
Add fresh diced tomatoes, whole peeled tomatoes (without juice) and fish sauce.
Bring to a gently simmer and cook for about 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every now and then, to prevent burning.
Remove from the heat and add rice vinegar. Set aside.
Sichuan Pepper Chicken
If using whole peppercorns, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add peppercorns and dry-fry for a minute, until fragrant. Remove and place in a mortar (or spice grinder) and grind.
In a shallow dish (or large ZipLoc bag) combine soy sauce, wine, ground peppercorns and salt.
Shake well and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan (or wok) over medium-high heat, add chicken and stir-fry for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with chopped mint and serve with tomato-chili jam.
One serving yields 375 calories, 17 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein.