Dry Pot Chicken (Gan Guo Ji)

"Dry pot" is a cooking method that comes from the very popular hot-pot meals where everyone selects their own ingredients to cook in a spicy communal broth. Dry-pot cooking often takes the same ingredients and spices but uses a stir-fry technique to cook them.

Prep Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
6 servings


  • ½ cup dried tofu skin (see Tips), broken into pieces

  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry

  • 9 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine (see Tips), divided

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (see Tips)

  • 2 tablespoons Pixian chili bean paste (doubanjiang; see Tips)

  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan chili flakes (see Tips) or crushed red pepper

  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 bunch broccolini, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion

  • 1-2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, thinly sliced

  • 8-10 dried small red chiles

  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin slivers

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place tofu skin in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain.

  3. Meanwhile, toss chicken with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing and ground pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones (discard bones and skin). Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.

  4. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns; toast, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool, then coarsely grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl and add chili bean paste and chili flakes (or crushed red pepper); mix well and set aside.

  5. Put a large pot of water on to boil and set a large bowl of ice water beside the stove. Add the tofu skin and potato to the boiling water. Cook until the potato is just tender, about 5 minutes. Add broccolini and celery; cook for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables and tofu skin to the ice water, then transfer to a clean kitchen towel to drain.

  6. Heat a large flat-bottom wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil and onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño (or serrano) and dried chiles to taste, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  7. Push the aromatics to the sides of the pan, making a well in the center. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, followed by the reserved peppercorn mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and scallions; cook, stirring, until the chicken is hot, about 1 minute. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon Shaoxing and soy sauce around the edges of the pan, then add the vegetables and tofu skin. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are hot, about 1 minute more. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Equipment: Parchment paper, spice grinder or mortar and pestle

Tips: Dried tofu skin: Chewy tofu skin is made from the layer of solids that forms on top of heated soymilk (think pudding skin). It is sold dried in sheets and must be rehydrated to use.

Shaoxing rice wine: A key ingredient for adding depth of flavor to Chinese sauces and soups. It is similar in flavor to sherry, but contains salt and sugar for added punch.

Sichuan peppercorns: Sichuan peppercorns (a member of the citrus family and unrelated to black peppercorns) have a citrusy aroma and supply the numbing half of the signature flavor of Sichuan food.

Pixian chili bean paste (doubanjiang): A salty and spicy umami concentrate made with chiles and fermented fava beans, the paste gives deep flavor to braises, soups and stir-fries. It is sometimes labeled "broad bean" chili paste.

Sichuan chile flakes: Whole dried chiles that have been fried until crisp and ground into a mix of flakes, powder and seeds. Korean pepper powder, available at Korean markets and online, is a good substitute.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

491 Calories
35g Fat
17g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 491
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 25g 51%
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 115mg 38%
Vitamin A 2957IU 59%
Vitamin C 54mg 60%
Folate 30mcg 7%
Sodium 902mg 39%
Calcium 85mg 7%
Iron 3mg 14%
Magnesium 45mg 11%
Potassium 624mg 13%

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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