Szechuan pepper and clove dry rubbed, roasted pulled chicken with a fruity glaze

I was in London the other day and I went to the Japan Centre and did what I love to do, bought so much I had to give up when it was too heavy! I mainly stocked up on the usual, rice wine vinegar, tofu and a few other ingredients but I loved the look of this bottle.




It is Japanese barbecue sauce and for some reason I couldn’t resist letting it slip in to my shopping basket as well.


We had some friends coming to visit, they had never been before and I wasn’t quite sure what to cook. They are well travelled to almost all corners of the world so I figured that they would be open to spices. In the end I opted for chicken, most people like it, it is easy to cook and it takes on the spices you are using.

I made a dry rub, I started by getting the Szechuan peppercorns out and then took out most of my spices and smelt them with the Szechuan pepper. After some deliberation with myself I decided to use sumac and cloves. It was a bit of a gamble as I haven’t done this before but I liked the sound of the spice combination.


Szechuan peppercorn and clove spice rub for chicken 

preparation time 3-4 minutes

cooking time 5 minutes

serves 4


  •  1 1/2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp sumac

Place all the spices in a dry frying pan and roast until the Szechuan peppercorns starts to pop.




Take it off the heat and let cool. Once cooled place in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until you have a fine powder. I loved the smell of the spices.


Spice rubbed, pulled chicken 

preparation time 15 minutes, including making the spice rub 

cooking time 45 minutes 

oven 180C or 360F

serves 4


  • 800 gram or 28.2 oz of boneless chicken thighs
  • all of the spice run from the mix above, about 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup
  • olive oil for drizzle

Trim the chicken thighs. Rub all of the spice in to the chicken,drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven.




Whilst that is cooking make the fruity barbecue glaze. I had a basket of nectarines, they are not really sweet, more tangy so I thought this would be great in the barbecue sauce. Next time I will make twice as much, I could have used more and I really liked it.


A fruity barbecue glaze

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 15-20 minutes

serves 4


  • 1/2 dl rhubarb glaze (you can find the recipe here)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Japanese barbecue sauce, or any other barbecue sauce you like and have at home
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 red chilli, fine chopped with seeds
  • 2 nectarines, fine chopped
  • 1/2 onion, fine chopped

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about ten minutes and taste, check if you need more of anything but if you are happy with the flavour place in a blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce.




When the chicken is cooked pull it and mix with the barbecue glaze. Before serving add the zest of 1/2 lemon and 2 tbsp chopped chive or chive flowers before serving.




I had boiled potatoes that I pan fried with onion, red pepper, salt, pepper and paprika powder.




I served with buttermilk mixed with a little fresh grated ginger and garlic. I used the remaining ginger and garlic with bok choy that M picked from the allotment. I last added a little soy sauce before serving.




The clove and the Szechuan pepper together was a great combination. The chicken had a nice bite, more fragrant than spicy and I will make the spice combination again.





4 Responses to “Szechuan pepper and clove dry rubbed, roasted pulled chicken with a fruity glaze”
  1. Loretta says:

    What a perfect meal, your guests probably went away pretty impressed! I love the dry rub and all the spices that you used.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta
      The dry rub was great and added lots of flavour 🙂 I hope the guests were happy, they did go for seconds 🙂

  2. What a beautiful meal Petra! So colorful and flavorful. I am sure your guests felt very pampered.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Julie
      Am glad you like it! I hope they did. I liked the spices and they worked really well with the fruit flavours 🙂

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