danny bowien's beer-braised henan chicken

ingredients
all
1 whole chicken
about 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces, could also use chicken thighs
1 1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup dried red chiles
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp cumin
ground
2 pieces star anise
4 pods cardamom
green
2 tbsp Chinese chili bean paste
could also use Sriracha
2 cups chicken stock
or water
16 oz beer
lager-style, such as Budweiser or Tsingtao
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 whole potatoes
russet, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
sherry vinegar
or black vinegar
fish sauce
1 cup cilantro
fresh, leaves only
steamed rice
cookware
Eating this dish is an experience. The food is both spicy and spiced. The heat comes from the sichuan peppers & chiles. The spice comes from the combination of spices that actually make up Chinese five spice. The five spice in combination with the sherry gives it a similar flavor profile to that of char siu (Chinese barbecue pork). The meat is seasoned all the way through with this cooking technique. This recipe yields a lot of food, so be sure to share it with friends!

Adapted from a recipe posted on the WSJ.
1
Kick off the ricer cooker. Prep the vegetables and measure out the ingredients. Reserve. Butcher the chicken.
2
Season the chicken with salt and fish sauce. Let the chicken bask in the seasoning for about 5 minutes.
3
Gradually preheat the dutch oven up to medium-high heat. Add enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pot. Once the oil is hot, brown both sides of the chicken, about 3 minutes per side. Because meat will steam instead of brown when crowded too much, brown the chicken in batches if needed. Transfer the browned chicken to a bowl or plate with raised edges to contain any juices.
4
Transfer all the browned chicken back into the pot. Bump up the heat to high and add the dried chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin, star anise, cardamom, chili bean paste, chicken stock, beer, soy sauce, sugar, and potatoes. Bring the pot up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, then cover and cook until chicken and potatoes are tender and sauce is reduced, about 20 minutes.
5
Season the stew with vinegar and extra fish sauce to taste. Plate the stew and top with cilantro. Serve with the steamed rice and enjoy immediately.