Szechuan Chicken is made with tender marinated chicken breast and a homemade sauce featuring fiery Szechuan peppers. It’s spicy, hearty, and full of complex flavor!
Schezwan Chicken: Your New Favorite Dinner Recipe
Today’s recipe for Szechuan chicken is one of those dishes that goes by many names. It’s sometimes referred to as Schezwan chicken, chicken Szechuan style, and even Sichuan chicken. But, no matter which way you say it or spell it, one thing is for sure: it’s tasty, spicy, and flavorful!
The star of this dish is perhaps the Szechuan peppers. They are fragrant and boast hints of citrus and pine. They’ll make your tongue and mouth tingle, and if you use enough, they have a distinct numbing effect! If you love spicy foods, you’re going to love my recipe for Sichuan chicken. I do have to warn you — it’s not for the faint of heart.
Chicken has long been one of my go-to’s when I want to make something wholesome and delicious. This recipe for sheet pan pesto chicken and vegetables is so easy for busy weeknights. These smoky curry chicken kebabs are unique and perfect when served with rice. And, this Mediterranean chicken quinoa salad is the ultimate for a light (yet oh so filling) lunch or summertime dinner. You get the idea — chicken is so versatile!
Why you will love Szechuan Chicken
- It’s full of Szechuan peppers — perfect for spice lovers!
- It’s a restaurant-quality meal that’s easy to make at home.
- It boasts the best ingredients in Asian cooking: chili pepper, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and (of course) Szechuan peppers.
- You can play around with the spice levels so that it works for your specific taste preferences.
How to Make Perfect Szechuan Chicken
Marinate the chicken. Add the ingredients for your chicken marinade to a medium-sized bowl. Add the chicken and allow it to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you have the time, overnight is better!
Pan-fry the chicken. When ready to cook, heat half an inch of sunflower oil in a skillet. Fry the Sichuan chicken for about 2 minutes on each side. Drain any excess oil by placing the fried chicken on a cooling rack. Set aside when your Sichaun chicken is finished cooking.
Prepare the Szechuan chicken sauce. Mix the hoisin sauce, water, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
Sauté the Szechuan, chilies, and other aromatics. Add the whole red chilies and ground Szechuan peppercorns to a wok with sesame oil. Stir for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add the chopped onion, red bell pepper, and sliced red chili and sauté until softened, 7-8 minutes. Fold in the green onion, grated ginger, and minced garlic. Stir for 2 more minutes to allow the flavors to bolden.
Assemble the Schezwan chicken. Add the fried chicken and the prepared sauce to the wok with the sautéed chili mixture. Stir over medium heat for about a minute and serve over a bed of white rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion and enjoy!
Frequently asked Questions about Chicken Szechuan Style
What’s the difference between Szechuan and Sichuan?
As mentioned, this dish goes by many different names: Szechuan chicken and Sichuan chicken are just a few! There isn’t a difference between the two. You’ll typically find “Szechuan” used more frequently on the East Coast, and “Sichuan” on the West Coast. Other names for the same dish include Schezwan chicken and chicken Szechuan style. Now you know!
What is Szechuan chicken sauce made of?
Chicken Szechuan style is typically made with chicken breast and a homemade sauce made with Szechuan peppercorns, a variety of Asian sauces, spices, and other aromatics like garlic, ginger, and onions. Served over a bed of fluffy white rice, it’s a hearty, filling, and unique dinner option!
What makes a dish Szechuan?
Szechuan refers to the name of a specific type of peppercorn as well as a region in China. Like this dish, it also has many different spellings. It’s located in southwest China, and many dishes made famous in the US by Chinese restaurants come out of this region! They are typically bold, spicy, and full of complex flavors. Kung Pao chicken is just one of them.
- 1 1/2 breasts chicken breast chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp powdered chili
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium onion chopped into bite-size pieces
- 6 pieces red chilies
- 1 piece red chili sliced
- 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns ground
- 2 tsp ginger grated
- 5 cloves garlic cloves minced
- 2 medium spring onions chopped
- sunflower oil for frying
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds garnish
- 2 cups cooked rice for serving
- Whisk the ingredients for the chicken marinade in a medium-sized bowl. Then add chicken pieces and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to overnight
- Heat ½ inch of sunflower oil in a skillet. Fry chicken pieces from each side, about 2 mins per side. Drain excess oil by placing the fried chicken on a cooling rack. Set chicken aside.
- Mix Hoisin sauce, water, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl. Set it aside.
- Add red chilies and ground Szechuan peppercorns in a wok containing sesame oil. Stir for a minute until fragrant. Then, add chopped onion, red bell pepper, and sliced chili and sauté until softened, about 7-8 minutes. Next, fold in green onion, grated ginger, and minced garlic, and stir for two more minutes to bold in flavors.
- Add fried chicken and prepared sauce to the wok. Stir over heat for a minute and serve warm. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.