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What did I just eat a Sichuan Garden?

tamerlanenj Aug 30, 2007 01:22 PM

So, um, I ordered the dried chengdu chicken, very spicy, but the waiter told me that was a mild dish and I should order some other chicken. I think he might have said Chungking?! so, anyway, out comes this dish covered in small red chilis, some hot chili oil, and ground schechuan peppercorns. It actually looks kinda funny; the waiter smirks at me, and the other guy near the front laughs too, and the watier says "Extra EXTRA spicy," and walks away smiling.

It was really good. Just crispy chicken covered in a ton of hot stuff. Not THAT hot though...not like pasta from hell hot.

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  1. BobB RE: tamerlanenj Aug 30, 2007 01:38 PM

    I don't know, but I want some!

    Reminds me of a dish I had at the short-lived branch of Zoe's in Brookline - I think the English name was something simple like "Chicken with hot peppers." It was about 1/3 diced stir-fried chicken (well-seasoned), 1/3 dried hot red peppers and 1/3 chopped fresh green semi-hot peppers. Yum!

    3 Replies
    1. re: BobB
      raddoc RE: BobB Aug 30, 2007 02:07 PM

      I had a dish just like that from Sichuan Garden in Woburn the other night. Small pieces of chicken in a hot oil type dry sauce. Chopped green semi-hot peppers and tons of dried hot peppers. They called it ChengDu chicken there. Great to eat thought I took some breaks to cool off. Still hot for the next two days, if you know what I mean.

      1. re: raddoc
        hargau RE: raddoc Aug 30, 2007 05:30 PM

        That sounds alot like the smokey cayenne chicken fish at Sichuan Gourmet
        Photo attached:

        1. re: hargau
          BobB RE: hargau Aug 31, 2007 06:59 AM

          Something like that, but with smaller pieces and a LOT more red pepper!

    2. Luther RE: tamerlanenj Aug 30, 2007 01:44 PM

      Chongqing chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Luther
        tamerlanenj RE: Luther Aug 30, 2007 02:55 PM

        Yes, that was it. Must have been.

      2. Dr.Jimbob RE: tamerlanenj Aug 31, 2007 05:40 AM

        Definitely Chongqing spicy chicken (Chongqing la-zi ji). Described by a friend of mine as "Popeye's on crack." Painful, and I just can't stop eating it.

        1. t
          TheWizard RE: tamerlanenj Aug 31, 2007 06:31 AM

          I think I've had the same dish from the Chinese lunch truck in Tech Square, Cambridge. Dry Hot Chicken may be the English translation. Chinese name is something like what people said already. I even squirt extra hot sauce on it. God, am I wasted...

          4 Replies
          1. re: TheWizard
            raddoc RE: TheWizard Aug 31, 2007 07:33 AM

            Here's the photo of Chengdu Dry Hot chicken from Sichuan Garden's website

            1. re: raddoc
              Dr.Jimbob RE: raddoc Sep 1, 2007 04:36 AM

              Dry Hot Chicken (la-zi ji) is a fairly common dish which you'll see in a variety of places (even Qingdao Garden, where blow-your-head-off chili is not the strength). The picture is of the Chengdu chicken, not the Chongqing. I haven't seen anything like Sichuan Garden's Chongqing lazi ji anywhere in the northeast US (though I can't say I was poking around that part of the menu extensively when I was at Grand Sichuan in NYC).

              1. re: Dr.Jimbob
                raddoc RE: Dr.Jimbob Sep 4, 2007 09:56 AM

                Chongqing chicken is not on their menu, does one just ask for it?

                1. re: raddoc
                  Dr.Jimbob RE: raddoc Sep 4, 2007 06:59 PM

                  Chongqing la-zi ji is on the Chinese language only menu. If you ask for it, they'll act a little surprised, make it clear that you know what you want and you know what you're getting into, and they'll make it for you. Then have various sections of your digestive tract regret it for the next 48 hours ...

          2. t
            twitchology RE: tamerlanenj Aug 2, 2008 08:30 AM

            I'm confused - what is the difference between the Chengdu and the Chongding? I might be going tonight - any good mild veggie dishes to help balance the humors?

            2 Replies
            1. re: twitchology
              twitchology RE: twitchology Aug 2, 2008 04:40 PM

              Well, I had the Chongqing tonight, and was surprised because I didn't think it was very spicy. At first I thought they had misunderstood me and given me the Chengdu, but my receipt showed it was Chongqing. Anyways, I didn't break a sweat, so I wonder if they toned it down or if it's a west-coast palate vs. east-coast palate kind of thing (I've noticed the same thing with Mexican food). I'm not trying to sound boisterous or show off. It was, however, ridiculously tasty. I can never finish a whole plate of Chinese food but I polished this one off. The chicken was nice and crisp, although I wish I had a few big pieces instead of a lot of little pieces so it would taste more chickeny - the spice paste wasn't overwhelming the flavor of the chicken; I tried a few pieces without it and they weren't very flavorful. Anyways, the chili paste was definitely the star of the show. I wish I could put it on my toast in the morning. After this and Mulan, I'm really enthusiastic about being in a town with real Chinese food. I come from Oregon and the offerings there are incredibly feeble.

              1. re: twitchology
                justbeingpolite RE: twitchology Aug 3, 2008 02:25 PM

                Do you eat the peppers themselves when you eat this dish? Without them, it's hot and leaves your lips with a nice numbness, but not unbelievably hot. I got some last night (piqued by the board), and the nice thing about this dish besides the hot, is the garlic, I think. I that how it differs from Cheng Du Dry spice chicken? Also I think the Cheng Du has the diced green chilis in it as well.

            2. k
              Kenji RE: tamerlanenj Aug 3, 2008 05:05 PM

              It was probably Zhongking (or Chongking) Fried Hot Chicken.

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