Beijing-based blogger and cooking instructor Diana Kuan, of Appetite for China, shares her recipe for Sichuan favorite laji jiding. Chicken pieces are shallow-fried for some serious crunch, before being stir-fried in a pungent sauce containing—yikes—eight to ten dried chilis and a handful of Sichuan peppercorns.
Diana describes the crispy, spicy chicken dish as a "more sophisticated version of kung pao chicken"; my cohort Tam calls it "a lip-numbing form of popcorn chicken." Kung pao popcorn chicken—how can you go wrong? (KFC, take note.)