If you ever had any reservations about #nightshades (I did), read on @ Huffington Post.
"My roommate used to come back from the west village, usually late at night with her boyfriend in tow, and a container of ‘hacked chicken’, an irresistible dish made out of chopped, steamed, chicken (skin, bone and all), smothered in a sauce made with chili oil. The seasonings had just the right amount of salt and heat to make a lifetime fan out of me"
Serving suggestion: Try chili oil on cold sesame noodles .
CHINESE CHILI OIL
-1 1/2 cups peanut oil
-5 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
-3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
-3/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes
-1- 1/1/2 teaspoons salt (no taste)
Heat the oil, star anise, bay leaves and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil starts to bubble slightly, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the oil. You don't want to burn the spices; it will affect the flavor. Maintain a slight bubbling, not a boil. Adjust the heat up or down if necessary, to maintain a slight bubbling throughout the cooking process.
When the oil is done cooking, let it cool for five minutes. Place the pepper flakes and salt in a heat proof container and pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer over the pepper flakes. Discard seeds and pods. Let cool completely and store in a cool, dry place.