Star anise is reddish brown and shaped like an irregular, eight-pointed star. In fact, its Chinese name means eight points. This spice’s strong licorice-like aroma adds an extra kick to this dish.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 whole fryer chicken, rinsed and patted dry
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sherry
- Six ¼-inch slices peeled fresh ginger, bruised
- 2 green onions, cut in 2-inch pieces
- 3 whole star anise
- 1 tablespoon Szechuan (wild pepper) peppercorns
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
In a large, heavy pan, heat the olive oil and sesame oil. Brown the whole chicken on all sides.
Add the soy sauce, sherry, ginger, green onions, star anise, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer on very low heat for 40 minutes or until almost done, turning once or twice for even cooking.
Add the sugar and simmer covered for 5 more minutes.
Cool slightly, then cut the chicken in serving-size pieces. Garnish with cilantro.