Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Szechuan Chicken

   Photographing Chinese food is a joy.  Their color on black or white background is stunning.  My love for this food though goes beyond photography.  I am addicted to Chinese food.  Addiction can sometimes lead people in the positive.  I started experimenting with Chinese food a long time back.  I always have soya sauce and oyster sauce at my disposal.  A very sharp chili sauce which I found after coming to the US has  become indispensable now.  Today's recipe uses soya sauce and vinegar for sure but otherwise the flavors are more from the garlic, dry red chili and sesame oil making it piquant and I loved this variation.   It's a brave move to name this dish Szechuan because I am unable to vouch for authenticity.  However, after chasing the internet for some history I found that Szechuan cuisine originated in Sichuan Province in China and the cuisine used Sichuan pepper which makes all the difference.  I used regular chilies from the Indian store and hence this is probably more of a Indian Szechuan Chicken.  The only other reason I braved this move in naming it so is the liberal use of sesame oil, a generous amount of ginger and garlic.  Either ways it is tasty.  I know you have only my word to go by but try it for sure you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients:
1. Chicken Breast      - 2
2. Ginger                   - 1 Tbspn
3. Garlic                    - 2 Tbspn
4. Onions                  - 1/2 of medium
5. Cabbage               - a small wedge
6. Carrot                   - 1
7. Bell Pepper           - 1
8. Pepper                  - 1 tspn
9. Dry Red Pepper    - 10 nos
10. Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 Tbspn
11. Soya Bean          - 4 Tbspn
12. Scallions (spring onions) = 2 for garnishing
13. Rice Vinegar      - 1 Tbspn (most recipes for Schezwan I have seen Sherry being used.  I din't have any so used rice vinegar and I know this is not a preferred substitute.  Please use dry sherry if you have)
14. Sesame Oil         - 3 Tbspn (The taste is quite sharp, use canola oil and just a little sesame oil if you are not used to or like the taste of sesame oil.  The sesame taste is distinct and gives the dish a feel as if from a restaurant)

Method:
1. Marinate chicken with salt and pepper for at least 1/2 hour
2. Heat some oil in a wok and saute the thinly sliced chicken till the pink flesh turns white and its cooked through and keep aside
3. Add some more oil into the wok followed by chopped onions and saute for a couple of minutes
4. Tip in the chopped ginger and garlic in this order and saute
5. Add julienne carrots, cabbage and bell pepper sauteing after each addition
6. Add a tablespoon of rice vingegar, 2 tbspn soya bean sauce and check for salt and if needed
7. Move this off into another dish.
8. In the same wok add either 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock or water and let it boil
9. Add 1 Tbspn of corn starch into 1/2 cup of water and stir to dissolve
10. Pour this and 1 Tbspn ketchup and 2 Tbspn or soya bean sauce, thicken
11. Tip in the chicken and vegetables and stir in and serve hot over rice or cooked noodles

Notes:
1. When making chinese food I prefer having all the ingredients chopped and kept ready before the wok is heated
2. On medium high or high flame the ingredients and dropped in and cooked quickly
3. Make sure your chicken is cooked well
4. Szechuan cuisine uses star anise and brown sugar and you may use one of star anise when you start frying the onions and 1 tspn of brown sugar when you make the sauce
5. Since I did not want the sweetness and still have a little to bring the flavors together I used 1 Tbspn of ketchup.

Contributor: Sunitha

46 comments:

  1. Lovely snap.

    I am also big fan of Chinese food. In fact I was craving Chinese chicken from yesterday...you made me crave more.

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  2. Bookmarked , I always wanted to collect schezwan sauce recipe, thanks to you.

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  3. Just looking to that pic i am hungry, wish i had steaming hot rice and this delicous chicken.

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  4. I am also a huge chinese food fan, but i love the indo chinese more i guess...SOme chinese food are strongle over 'sauced'(if there is a word so)....else its fine...Have u tried thai dishes?...they are real good...?its milder than chinese though...BTW, nice pic..

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  5. Colorful and yummy dish..Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!! My hubby would definitely love this one..

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  6. Grt snap dear/....Chinese is my all time favourite...and this dish looks to fabbb...bookmarking the recipe....can't wait to make it soon...

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  7. This is great to serve either with rice or noodles.
    Well done!

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  8. Please just give me that bowl, pronto! It looks fabulous!

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  9. definitely worth trying! tempting presentation!

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  10. Sunitha,

    Szechuan chicken looks really good.

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  11. me too really like chineese food..looks so delcious and colorful liked the colors and photos

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  12. szechuan chicken looks yummy !! I bet they taste awesome, love chicken in any form.

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  13. Cant take my eyes from click, mouthwatering dish...

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  14. Wow..great Szechuan chicken CC's...Was planning to try our hands soon..Great click..

    Love
    KS

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  15. oh i too am such a sucker for chinese food and sicne we dont get indian chinese here, i am actually enjoying the authentic chinese as well..which i thought i never would..

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  16. Awesome sunitha. True photographing chinese food is joy and they are very colorful with lots of greens.

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  17. Very healthy, looking at the pics i have started drooling. You pics r so beautiful.

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  18. Questo tuo modo di cucinare mi piace molto, è molto diverso dal mio e voglio prorpio imparare da te, ciao :)

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  19. Colorful and yummy dish..Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!!

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  20. Droolicious!! I love anything that has to do with chicken and Chinese. Yum!

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  21. I love how talented you are with photography!

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  22. OMG, I always fall for chicken recipes! The same here now...hehe! I want someeeee! ;)

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  23. chinese food can make anyone hungry, this looks mouth watering.

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  24. Hello , how r u doing? i like chicken this looks very tempting to me...yummmmm

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  25. oh wow, looks so yummy and delicious. i am also addicted to indo-asian foods like you, and yes, they do tend themselves to photographs really well :)

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  26. I like your sino/indian dishes..I am going to an Indian restaurant that specialised in that..it will be my first time eating chicken manchuria..hehe

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  27. We adore Chinese food! They are totally drool worthy!

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  28. came here after a long time ......the pictures are so beautiful Sunitha and i love this dish..

    I watch Kylie Kwang making szechuan dishes by using freshly pounded szechuan peppers and sea salt....it's a delight to watch that..

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  29. looks mouthwatering, love chinese dishes..

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  30. Picture makes me hungry. Lovely chinese dish.

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  31. Beautiful Dish!!! Feeling hungry..hhhmmmm

    www.hyderabadicuisinerecipes-angel.blogspot.com

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  32. I would love that with rice....lots of rice :D MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

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  33. Wooow,,dear as u said its soo colourful and pics are very great n perfect asusual dear..

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  34. Lovely pictures of a grand & very flavourful dish!

    YUMMMMMMM,....

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  35. Well done! It looks and sounds delicious. Great with a bowl of rice and of course you've gotta use chopsticks :)

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  36. Wow.. this must have tasted awesome...love Chinese and this is beautiful presentation

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  37. Love chinese food and the dish looks super yummy.

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  38. oh dear sunita, thatz a very tempting dish indeed! As you said, the photographs are perfect! Really, you shouldn't just be posting recipes like this and make me crave :( You should have invited me for tasting at the least :) Looks superb and am gonna give this a try!

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