Szechuan chicken

Szechuan chicken is a very popular dish in restaurants features in the menu of every Indo-Chinese restaurant. It is entirely different from the Szechuan peppers. I prepared Szechuan chicken as per my style with my home made Szechuan sauce made with celery. The szechuan sauce was very delicious and gave me very good colour as you would see in a restaurant. I actually did not add any colour to make it bright. I kept the level of heat and spiciness according to my taste and this time I did not make it very spicy. It tasted yum and in my opinion better than what you get in a few restaurants, which they call Szechuan style but is actually more like Manchurian dish with red colour. I prepared the Szechuan chicken gravy style and not dry. Szechuan sauce can be prepared at home and you can refrigerate or freeze and can prepare many dishes as you like. You can use in fried rice, noodles, stir fry, soups and many more. Szechuan chicken serve as a side dish to any stir fry noodles or any fried rice.

Preparation time: 25 mins (does not include time to marinate)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Indo-Chinese, Szechuan

Serves: 2 to 3

Spiciness: Medium hot

Ingredients

    Marinade

  • Chicken – 200 gms
  • Egg white – 1
  • Corn flour – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Pepper powder – a pinch
  • Dark soya sauce – 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves (chopped) – 1
  • Sauce

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Dry chilli (sliced or chopped) – 1
  • Garlic cloves (chopped) – 2 to 3
  • Ginger (chopped) – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli (chopped) – 1
  • Spring onion – 3
  • Onion – 1 tbsp
  • MSG or ajinomoto – 1/4 tsp or little more
  • Szechuan sauce (home made) – 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Chilli garlic sauce (Maggi brand) – 21/2tbsp
  • Dark soya sauce – 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Sesame oil – 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Rice vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 1/3 cup
  • Onion (chunks) – quarter
  • Green chilli (sliced) – 2
  • Red capsicum (chunks) – quarter
  • Green capsicum (chunks) – quarter
  • Cornstarch – (cornflour 2 tsp + water 1/2 cup)

Method

    Marinating and frying the chicken pieces

  • Slice or cut the chicken pieces into chunks or strips, as per your convenience size.
  • Take a bowl add all the marinate ingredients including egg white , mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Keep it aside. Marinate for 30minutes.
  • Preheat the kadai with sufficient oil, when it is hot, add the chicken pieces one by one and fry it in batches.
  • Cook the chicken pieces on medium flame, when it is golden brown and cooked well, keep it aside.
  • For the sauce

  • Chop thedry chilli, onions, garlic , green chilli(1) ,ginger and spring onions(1) and keep it aside.
  • Slice green chillies(2) and spring onion(2), keep it ready. Keep few spring onions (green part) for garnishing.
  • Chop the capsicum (you can use any colour) and onion into chunks or square shapes.
  • For the corn starch, mix the water and corn flour well. Keep it ready.
  • Cooking the sauce

  • Take a wide pan or kadai, add oil, when its hot add dry chilli, chopped onions, spring onions(white part),garlic, ginger and green chilli , sauté for few seconds on medium flame until light golden colour comes.
  • Add ajinomoto and sugar, Szechuan sauce, dark soya sauce and chilli garlic sauce, stir for 1 to 2min, then add water.
  • Allow it to boil for 3minutes, add sliced green chillies and sliced spring onion (white part and few green leaves) cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add sesame oil, pepper powder, rice vinegar, mix all, cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce thicken lightly and is as per your consistency.
  • Add the vegetables and the spring onion (green part) and cooked chicken pieces, mix and cook for about 2 mins on medium flame until all the chicken pieces are blended well with the sauce and other ingredients.
  • Add corn starch; boil for 2minutes and then simmer for about 2 mins. Garnish with some spring onions.
  • You can see that as soon as corn starch is added, the colour of the sauce changes.
  • When the sauce thickens and is cooked well, you can switch it off. You can see now that the sauce has coated the chicken pieces well.
  • Taste it, if it is very spicy just try to adjust with little more soya sauce or vinegar, add little water and sugar also, if needed.
  • It is gravy type. It’s spicy and tastes good also.
  • I have served it with vegetable fried rice.

Notes

  • Adding chilli garlic sauce is entirely optional. Instead add Szechuan sauce 3 tbsp, white pepper powder and little bit chilli powder and other ingredients remain same. It gives you different taste. I have prepared both.
  • I sometimes add chilli oil in the sauce, which is optional.
  • While preparing sauce, first taste, then add the vegetables and chicken in the end, so that if anything needs to be added you can add and correct it as per your taste.
  • The garlic I have used is medium size like 1 garlic clove can be 3/4th tsp and not the small garlic cloves. Add the vegetables as per your taste.
  • I cooked it on both medium and high heat, if the heat is very high and it is burning, just keep off the heat or reduce the heat.
  • if the sauce becomes too thick and dry, then add little water to make it thin and then add corn starch or you can avoid.
  • After adding corn starch, I think it gives that custard texture consistency, that’s why it coats the chicken pieces properly.
  • If you want dry type or semi gravy type the garlic chicken then, reduce the quantity of water and cook.
  • You can add the corn starch, and then add the chicken pieces and capsicum at last.

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