Our take on Szechuan Chicken
Mid-week chicken family dinners can get a bit monotonous. Our favourite quick chicken recipe is an American / Chinese / British fusion of Szechuan Chicken. Spicy Chicken is spicy, crispy, tangy & sweet. It can also be on the table in under an hour yet tastes like you slaved for days. The best part is that no speciality ingredients are required. You can even replace the chicken with Quorn if you would like to make this vegetarian.
Quick Chicken Recipe for mid-week Family Dinners
Spicy Chicken is brilliant for many reasons. First, you can clean up as you go along – load the dishwasher after each step to make clean up is a breeze. Second, it makes four generous portions. Great for having friends round for dinner or dinner for two with two leftovers. Third, the leftovers are delicious reheated in the microwave for 5 – 6 minutes. Finally, it is hearty yet not too heavy. We like to match Spicy Chicken with a light dessert such as Orange Sherbet or Lemon Drizzle Cake.
Customise to your taste
There are many ways to tweak in this recipe to your tastes. Consider making it at least 4 or 5 times to make it your own. It is our take on Szechuan Chicken which is usually known for garlic, onions, chillis and bell peppers. You can try replacing our ingredients with these traditional ones.
Try adjusting the cayenne to change the heat. Some like it sweeter and add a bit more sugar to the sauce. Japanese soy sauce (like Kikkoman) is way too salty for this dish. Amoy Dark Soy Sauce is a better salty / sweet choice. Tenderstem broccoli is a lovely addition (remove one pepper and add 200g tenderstem broccoli). Alternatively, green beans instead of broccoli. Make it your own and this will become a regular mid-week meal.
- 100 grams cornflour
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper double this if you like it spicy
- 4 breasts chicken diced (350 - 400g)
- 3 bell peppers red, yellow, orange, diced
- 1 bunch spring onions diced
- 75 ml vegetable oil
- 150 ml Amoy Dark Soy Sauce
- 50 ml water
- 1 teaspoon sugar caster or granulated
- 3 tablespoons distilled malt vinegar white vinegar
- 200 grams long grain rice
- Make rice to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, continue with the next steps.
- Wash and dice the bell peppers, set aside.
- Wash and dice the spring onions, set aside.
- In a mug, mix water, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. Stir and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the cornflour and cayenne pepper.
- Dice the chicken breasts and add to toss to cover with the cornflour mix.
- Prep complete!
- Clean all of the cutting boards and load the dishwasher with what you've used so far.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large dry pan to hot but not smoking.
- Add the chicken in one layer in the bottom of the pan. Do this carefully so you don't splash the oil and get burnt.
- Turn the heat down a little bit and let the chicken start to cook through. DO NOT STIR - this isn't a stir fry. You want the oil to crisp up the cornflour.
- Make sure the cayenne pepper doesn't burn. When the chicken starts to cook through the bottom side (about 5 minutes), use a spatula and FLIP the chicken ONCE.
- Distribute the uncooked chicken in one layer in the bottom of the pan. Cover with the onions and peppers.
- Cover, turn heat down to medium and cook the chicken through (about 10 minutes).
- Uncover. Turn heat backup to HIGH. Carefully, pour the sauce mixture all over the chicken. It will steam so be careful.
- Stir the sauce through (stir constantly now) to ensure it doesn't stick. Cover all of the chicken and vegetables thoroughly.
- Plate up over white rice.