Make Chinese Laundry's chicken carcass

Crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside morsels of chicken, marinated in Sichuan spice

Chinese Laundry's chicken carcass. Photograph by Issy Croker

Serves 4

Preparation time 20 mins

Cooking time 10 mins

You can either use chicken carcasses left over from other dishes as chefs and co-founders Tongtong Ren and Peiran Gong do at Chinese Laundry, the home-style Chinese restaurant on Upper Street, or pick them up cheaply from your local butcher. This isn't a dish for the faint-hearted – the only way to get to all that flavoursome meat is to roll up your sleeves and dig in.


  • 2 large free-range chicken carcasses

For the marinade

  • 110g Sichuan bean curd sauce
  • 30g chopped and peeled fresh garlic
  • 20g dark soy sauce
  • 80g Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 100g honey

For the Sichuan spice rub

  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground sea salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

For the dip

  • 250ml lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsb chilli powder


  1. Blend together the ingredients for the marinade and set aside, then do the same for the dip.
  2. To make the spice rub, toast the Sichuan peppercorns and the cumin seeds. Mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Blanch the carcasses: cover them in cold water in a pot, bring to boil, then leave in medium heat for five minutes. Take out the carcasses, wash the extra fat and impurities off with cold water, and leave to dry – if it’s wet, it’ll be difficult to apply the marinade.
  4. Brush the marinade on the outside and the inside of the carcass and set in the fridge for two hours.
  5. Heat up a fairly deep pot of oil (enough to cover the carcass) to 180°C and deep-fry for three minutes until the marinated surface of the carcass gets crispy.
  6. Gently apply a kitchen towel on the fried carcass to remove extra oil on the surface.
  7. Get a tray, pour the Sichuan spices in, and rub them all over the carcass, making sure it’s completely covered. Serve on a board alongside the dip and get stuck in.