Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

4.0 (149)
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.

Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup each
Active Time: 25
Total Time: 25

Ingredients

Sichuan Sauce

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

Chicken

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

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare Sichuan Sauce (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Notes: Chinkiang is a dark, slightly sweet vinegar with a smoky flavor. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
  • Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available in most Asian specialty markets and some larger supermarkets in the Asian section. An acceptable substitute is dry sherry, sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. (We prefer it to the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets, which can be surprisingly high in sodium.)

Nutrition

Nutrition Per Serving

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

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

Carbohydrate Serving 1

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

From EatingWell February/March 2005, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)