Szechuan Spice's Chicken with Double Chili Pepper: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 41

Szechuan spice double pepper chicken
Mo Perry
Fiery goodness to make your tongue tingle
There is something other-worldly about Szechuan Spice's chicken with double chili pepper--a haunting quality that hovers on the periphery of your memory and manifests in periodic, sudden, urgent cravings. Maybe it's the chicken, lightly crisped on the outside and pleasantly supple inside. Maybe it's the sheer heat of it: that panting, hurts-so-good burn after every bite. More likely, it's the strange tingle in your tongue from the Sichuan pepper husks used to flavor the dish. The effect of the pepper husks has been compared to an electrical current, such as might be experienced by holding a 9-volt battery to the tongue. And we've all heard enough love songs to know about the exquisite agony of an electric touch.


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The dish is slathered in a brightly colored, violently seductive chili oil that is somehow more sturdy than slick, more robust than wet. This is no drippy, greasy oil. It carries a punch, delivered with such complexity that you can't wait to submit your jaw to it again and again as you try to unravel the layers of flavor.

The Sichuan peppers set the stage for the more aggressive bite of the chili peppers, whose intact seeds carry enough capsaicin to make your eyes water. he dish is comprised mainly of a generous helping of chicken, with just enough extra garnishes to add some variety of texture. Served on a bed of steamed white rice and paired with the Szechuan cold noodles and General Tao tofu, the chicken with double chili pepper makes for a dinner worthy of a Hallelujah chorus.

Szechuan Spice
3016 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis
612.353.4281

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 42: Dancing Ganesha's Chicken 65
No. 43: Bradstreet's Black Walnut Old Fashioned
No. 44: Wakame Bistro's Crazy Lobster Roll
No. 45: Brit's Pub Scotch Eggs
No. 46: Peninsula's chili tofu
No. 47: Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeno poppers
No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli 
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's Seafood and Tofu Hot Pot
No. 55: Polish Delight Cocktail at the Inn
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island Dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes



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