About Orange Szechuan Chicken
I don’t know about you, but I love taking advantage of a good sale. And better yet, I love to buy things in bulk. Because who wants to go to the grocery store 10 times for the same item, amirite?
And, of course, this is all assuming that I can save or freeze these sold-in-bulk goods. That was a hard lesson I learned in my 20’s. Many a Costco-sized basket of apples did not reach their full potential at my hands.
But let’s just say that I happened across a great chicken sale (because I totally did). And let’s just say that I have a laundry-list of chicken recipes I’ve been waiting to make (because I totally do).
When faced with this opportunity, I did the only logical thing: I started with the recipe I’ve been drooling over the most.
And that, my friends, was this orange-infused Szechuan chicken recipe (also known as Sichuan chicken).
Now, I gotta be honest – this wasn’t exactly the “quickest” dinner I’ve ever made, but you have to understand:
Chopping veggies and meats is not my strong suit.
I guess it must be the perfectionist in me (or probably my survival instinct kicking in, seeing as I’m very clumsy) but I’ve never been able to master chopping. I take more of a “slow and steady wins the race” approach, with each cut made with
shaky uncertainty tender loving care. I always get the job done, but it’s a slow and tedious process wherein I’m never quite sure if I’ll still have all my fingers when I’m done.
So when I say this Szechuan chicken was a little time-consuming to make, you can grade my opinion in the same way the height requirement keeps the vertically challenged off a rollercoaster ride.
But you know what I can tell you about this recipe?
The finished dish was delicious.
I’ve had “standard” Szechuan chicken before, and honestly, I think I enjoy this version better – but, then again, I always tend to lean toward sweeter dishes. The orange flavor is definitely “there” in this recipe, but it’s not overpowering at all.
And when this Szechuan orange chicken is served over a bed of steaming white rice? It’ll make you wonder why you ever bothered with Chinese take-out!
notes & tips for this Szechuan Chicken recipe
- This recipe goes by a couple different spellings – like Sichuan chicken or Schezwan chicken – but those are only popular in America. The “proper” spelling of the word is Szechuan.
- This dish would go great with white rice, fried rice, or an easy veggie side dish (like this garlic parmesan broccoli).
- If you’re in the mood for more Chinese-inspired eats, be sure to check out Teriyaki Chicken Casserole, Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, Honey Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli, and Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs.
More great chicken recipes
Orange Szechuan Chicken
- In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, orange zest, and orange juice. Set aside.
In a large sskillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat until steaming. Cooking in batches that best fit your skillet, add cut chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken until no longer pink (about 3-5 minutes) then remove from skillet and place on a plate. Repeat until all chicken is cooked and removed from skillet.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to skillet, then add cut bell pepper. Cook bell pepper, turning frequently, until just softened, about 3-5 minutes. Push pepper to one side of the skillet.
On the clear side of the skillet, add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Use the back of a spatula to gently press the garlic and ginger into the skillet. Scrape up ginger and garlic and press again. Repeat this for about 30 seconds or until ginger and garlic are fragrant.
Add orange-hoisin mixture to the skillet and stir all contents of skillet together until combined. Let sauce simmer until reduced and thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
Add cooked chicken and scallions to skillet, then toss to coat. Continue to cook chicken until it's heated through.
Serve immediately with veggies or white rice.
Recipe lightly adapted from America's Test Kitchen.