I adore this Szechuan Chicken recipe. I’m not sure there is anything I find more satisfying than making a quick, delicious, and healthy meal. Quick meals are easy. Delicious meals are easy. Healthy meals are easy. But putting all three of those together can be pretty hard to do.
Lucky for you, I did all of the hard work (and taste-tasting, poor me!) to bring you a quick, delicious, and healthy Szechuan Chicken recipe.
This stir-fry is so, so, so good I just couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Whenever I make stir-fries I like to use my favorite big ol’ wok, but you can also use a sturdy frying pan like this one instead.
If you’re going to serve this with rice, be sure to put the rice on before you start chopping up your vegetables and chicken because the rice will take longer to cook than the stir-fry will. If you have had less-than-stellar rice-making experiences in the past, check out my post on how to make perfect rice using a simple trick. I’ve been told it is life-changing.
It makes me so happy whenever I can make completely gobble-worthy food, and not just because it gets the husband to shut up while he’s eating. (<— OK, just kidding… I just wanted to hear what happens when his co-workers read this)
Creating a healthy dinner I can whip up in 20 minutes and gives me that “must-stuff-my-face-now” feeling is what I would consider an accomplishment.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration for healthy recipes is Cooking Light Magazine. On Wednesday I nearly wet myself with excitement when I found out they just released a WHOLE BOOK of healthy international recipes. The book is called Global Kitchen and I already ordered myself a copy.
I was super stoked to see that it ships in 2 days for free with my Amazon Prime membership, so it’s going to be here TONIGHT! If you don’t already use Amazon Prime, you can click here to get a 30 day free trial. You’ll soon be as addicted as I am… it’s amazing, I kid you not. There have been so many times in the past year that I’ve needed a gift, kitchen item, or even dog food totally last minute and with the click of a button it’s on my doorstep in 2 days. Efficiency: Level 11.
I’m so stoked to get my new book, as I could really use some more inspiration for healthy meals! I need to be bathing suit ready before our big trip to Greece.
OK, so a couple tips/notes about this recipe:
- Slice the carrots really, really thin so they don’t come out under cooked.
- Make sure you are using a hot pan so you can get all the pretty brown caramelized pieces on the chicken and vegetables.
- Don’t forget about the advice I gave you in my Thai Chicken with Cashews recipe about the proper way to stir-fry. To refresh your memory:
“When I say ‘Stir-Fry’, I mean ‘stir, THEN fry.’ The purpose of stir-frying is to let the ingredients fry and get a lovely brown color before you stir it to keep it from burning. Let the food fry for about 30 seconds at a time before stirring it, and make sure you are using medium-high heat. If you stir it too much, or fry it over too low of a heat, the dish won’t turn out right. The chicken will poach from the steam and be white rather than brown.”
- Make sure you follow the instructions and stir the cornstarch into the sauce mix a few minutes before it goes in the pan. Cornstarch always needs to be activated in cold water, and never be directly introduced into a hot dish.
- This recipe calls for dry roasted, un-salted peanuts, but if all you can find are salted peanuts you’ll probably survive.
- If you’re unfamiliar with chili-garlic sauce, you can almost always find it on the Asian food aisle at your local grocery store. It is red with a green cap and looks like this.
This one will definitely make its way into your regular dinner rotation. You can thank me later 😉
Here’s Your Szechuan Chicken Recipe!
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
- 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce, divided
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
- 1/2 c. fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. chili-garlic sauce (such as Huy Fong brand)
- 1 Tbsp. peanut (or canola) oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, very thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 1/4 c. unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
- In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, 1 Tbsp. of the hoisin sauce, and 1 Tbsp. of the cornstarch. Set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, broth, vinegar, brown sugar, chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl; set aside.
- Heat a nonstick wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for three or four minutes. Add the oil and then the chicken. Stir-fry until almost cooked through, 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for another 15 seconds.
- Add in the bell pepper, carrots, and peanuts. Stir fry until tender-crisp, 2 minutes. Pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils, and chicken is cooked through (about one minute). Serve hot over a bed of white rice.