Slow-Cooker Sichuan Chicken with Scallions & Baby Bok Choy

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.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
8 hrs 20 mins
6 servings


  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed

  • cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

  • cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

  • 3 dried red chiles, stemmed

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated garlic

  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 whole star anise (see Tip)

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, divided

  • 1 ⅓ cups water

  • 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths

  • Crushed red pepper to taste

Sesame Baby Bok Choy

  • 6 heads baby bok choy (about 1 pound)

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 (per serving)

235 Calories
12g Fat
5g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 235
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 25g 49%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Vitamin A 4686IU 94%
Vitamin C 47mg 52%
Folate 86mcg 21%
Sodium 743mg 32%
Calcium 145mg 11%
Iron 3mg 17%
Magnesium 57mg 14%
Potassium 521mg 11%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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