Szechuan chicken is one of the most popular restaurant style chicken dishes served around the world. Use this easy authentic recipe to make it at home.
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Szechuan Chicken (Authentic Flavors)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Victor

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 1 lb of chicken thigh / leg meat, cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 green bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 4 green onions (scallions, cut into 1/2" pieces on the diagonal)
  • Cooking oil for deep-frying and stir-frying

For the marinade:

  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp finely crushed or ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

For the chili oil:

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (you may also use canola oil)
  • 2 Tbsp dried red pepper flakes

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (finely crushed or ground)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger (minced)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 3 small shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine (see notes)
  • 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

  • To prepare the chili oil, place the dried red pepper flakes into a small bowl. Heat the oil in a wok or a small saucepan until you see a swirl of white smoke coming out from it. Pour the oil over the dried red pepper flakes. Stir to help the pepper release its aroma. Set aside to cool down, then strain into a sanitized container. The chili oil can be prepared up to several days in advance and refrigerated.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients. Cover and marinate refrigerated for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat 2 inches of the oil in a wok or stockpot to 350°F for deep-frying. Gently drop the chicken into the oil and loosen them up immediately with the spatula to prevent the chicken pieces from sticking together. Do not overcrowd the chicken. If necessary, perform this step in batches.
  • Deep-fry the chicken to a light golden brown color. If using an instant read thermometer, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 160-165F. Remove the chicken with a strainer or a slotted spoon and place on a dish lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. Discard or reserve the oil for use in other recipes.
  • To stir-fry, heat one tablespoon cooking oil and one teaspoon chili oil (or more if you like your chicken more spicy) in a wok or skillet. Add the garlic, stir quickly. Add the ginger and stir quickly. Turn the heat down to medium, add the sliced shallots and the crushed Sichuan peppercorns. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes until the shallots turn golden brown. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and continue cooking for another minute or so, until the sauce thickens.
  • Add the bell pepper and continue sauteing for about 3 minutes, until the peppers soften up.
  • Return the chicken to the wok or skillet and add the green onions. Stir quickly with a spatula to combine all the ingredients in the wok or skillet. Taste for spiciness. Add more chili oil if needed and stir.
  • Serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice.

Notes

You can use either plain rice wine or Shaoxing rice wine, whichever you prefer. You can substitute Chinese cooking wine for dry sherry if you don't have access to rice wine. Alternatively, you can use vinegar. I've used Chinese Shanxi aged vinegar with great results.