Sichuan peppercorns give this brothy slow-cooker chicken dish a distinctive lemony, mouth-numbing flavor. Unrelated to peppercorns, they're the dried berries of the prickly ash tree. Look for them in specialty markets and online. If you've never had them before, try one first and add more or less to taste. Serve with sesame baby bok choy (which takes just a few minutes to prep) and Chinese noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that'll get you out of your same-old-chicken-dish rut.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 2019


Recipe Summary

20 mins
8 hrs 20 mins


Ingredient Checklist
Sesame Baby Bok Choy


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine chicken, soy sauce (or tamari), Shaoxing (or sherry), chiles, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and sugar in a 4- to 7-quart slow cooker. Tie star anise, cinnamon sticks and 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns in cheesecloth or a muslin spice bag and add to the slow cooker. Add water and cover. Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.

  • To prepare bok choy: About 15 minutes before serving, trim bok choy and separate leaves. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add the bok choy; steam until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.

  • To finish the chicken: Remove and discard the spice bag. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken. Discard the skin and bones. Pour the broth into a fat separator or skim the fat, if desired. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns and let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Divide the chicken and broth among 6 serving bowls and top with scallions and crushed red pepper. Serve with the bok choy.


Tip: Named for its star-shaped pods that come from a small evergreen tree native to China, star anise lends a licoricelike flavor to many Asian dishes. Look for it with bulk spices in natural-foods stores or at Asian markets.

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Equipment: 4- to 7-qt. slow cooker, cheesecloth

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup chicken with 1/3 cup broth & 1/2 cup bok choy
235 calories; protein 24.6g; carbohydrates 5.4g; dietary fiber 1.6g; sugars 2.3g; fat 11.7g; saturated fat 2.8g; cholesterol 76.5mg; vitamin a iu 4686.3IU; vitamin c 46.9mg; folate 85.8mcg; calcium 144.8mg; iron 3mg; magnesium 57mg; potassium 520.8mg; sodium 743mg.

3 medium-fat protein, 1/2 fat, 1/2 vegetable