Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

The piquant Sichuan Sauce (which doubles easily) works well with almost any stir-fry but particularly enhances dishes with meat, fish and poultry. When stir-frying chicken, always spread the pieces in the wok and let them cook undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. This allows the chicken to sear and prevents sticking. To smash the ginger, use the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.

From EatingWell: February/March 2005, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)
Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Sichuan Sauce

  1. 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  2. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  3. 2 teaspoons Chinkiang rice vinegar, (see Note) or balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  8. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste

Chicken

  1. 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, or thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine, (see Note) or dry sherry
  3. 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  6. 1 tablespoon canola oil
  7. 2 1/2-inch-thick slices ginger, smashed
  8. 2 cups sugar snap peas, (8 ounces)
  9. 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  10. 1 scallion, minced

Preparation

  1. To prepare Sichuan sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare chicken: Combine chicken, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out. Cook until the chicken begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spread the chicken out again and cook for 30 seconds. Continue stir-frying until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Add snap peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the Sichuan Sauce, swirl it into the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a platter (discard the ginger) and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving: 273 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 3 g fiber; 177 mg sodium; 427 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Iron (15% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat