Chinese-style chicken







Cook Time

145-150 Min


  • 1⁄2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • pinch of five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 8 spring onions, shredded
  • 75g/3oz beansprouts

For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • Put the cucumber matchsticks in a colander, sprinkle with the salt and cover with a plate with a weight on top. Set the colander in a bowl or on a deep plate to catch the drips, and leave to drain for 30 minutes.
  • Put the chicken portions in a large pan and just cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, the five-spice powder and the lemon juice, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Lift out the poached chicken with a slotted spoon, and leave until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skin. Bash the chicken lightly with a rolling pin to loosen the fibres. Slice into thin strips. Reserve.
  • Heat the oils in a large frying pan or wok. Add the sesame seeds, fry for 30 seconds, then stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and the sherry. Add the carrots, and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  • Rinse the cucumber well, pat dry with kitchen paper and put in a bowl. Add the spring onions, beansprouts, cooked carrots, pan juices and shredded chicken, and mix together. Transfer to a shallow dish. Cover and chill for about 1 hour, turning the mixture once or twice.
  • To make the sauce, cream the peanut butter with the lemon juice, sesame oil and chilli powder, adding a little hot water to form a paste, then stir in the spring onion.
  • Arrange the chicken mixture on a serving dish, and serve with the peanut sauce.
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