2 tbsps whole Szechuan or black peppercorns
2 tbsps salt
1 x 2 lb. chicken
½ cup sugar
½ cup tea leaves
1 tbsp sesame oil
Sprig of Chinese parsley to garnish
1. Toast the peppercorns in a pan, then crush them coarsely and mix with the salt. Rub the chicken with the peppercorn mixture, inside and out. Leave to stand for a few hours.
2. Place a large sheet of foil in a roasting tin so the foil hangs well over the sides of the tin. Sprinkle the sugar and tea leaves over the foil, put a rack in the tin and place the chicken on it. Bring the foil up over the chicken and fold together to seal. Cook in a preheated moderately hot oven (190°C/375°F, Gas Mark 5) for 30 minutes.
3. Unwrap the chicken and brush with the sesame seed oil. Return to the oven and roast, uncovered, for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Serve hot, garnished with Chinese parsley.
Note: If you prefer, the chicken can be boiled or steamed for 30 minutes or until tender then roasted for 15 minutes. Chicken breasts or legs can be used instead of a whole chicken.