Sichuan chicken is deep-fried chicken pieces cooked with fragrant Arbol chilies and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, resulting in irresistibly juicy chicken our family loves.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Dark Soy Sauce: Dark soy sauce is different from light or all-purpose soy sauce; it has a more intense flavor, and the saltiness makes it perfect for marinating.
- Shaoxing Wine: Paired with egg whites, vinegar creates a velveting effect to tenderize the chicken.
- White Sugar: Sugar prevents the chicken from becoming tough.
- Eggs Whites: Egg whites create a velveting effect when paired with vinegar to tenderize the chicken.
- Chicken Thighs: We use boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces to make it easy. Traditionally this meal is made with a broken-down whole chicken, but I don’t have those butchering skills.
- Salt + Corn Starch: Flavors the cornstarch coating for perfectly seasoned fried chicken.
- Sichuan Peppercorns: Citrus-flavored Sichuan peppercorns create a tingly, numbing sensation in your mouth and provide the traditional Sichuan flavor.
- Arbol Chilies: Mild Arbol chilies have a deep flavor and give the meal its signature look. While the meal looks super spicy at first glance, it’s common to pick out the chicken pieces using chopsticks, leaving the chilies behind but only if you want to. I prefer to scoop up a few with each bite for a bit of heat.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger lends flavor to the chicken.
- Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – go for it.
- Scallion: Scallions or green onions add a nice peppery finish.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds: Finish the Sichuan fried chicken with sesame seeds.
HOW TO MAKE SICHUAN CHICKEN
COMBINE- Combine cornstarch and salt on a plate.
DRAIN– Place the marinated chicken and leave it to drain in a colander for 1-2 minutes.
COAT– Add ½ of the chicken to the cornstarch mixture. Stir to coat, then shake off any excess. Set the chicken onto the wire rack, and repeat with the remaining chicken.
FRY- Over medium heat, warm the oil to 350° in a Dutch oven. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and cook until both sides brown, about 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to an unused wire rack. Allow the oil to return to 350° and repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
STIR-FRY In a heavy-bottomed pan or wok, heat canola oil, Arbol chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns until they begin to sputter.
Next, add the garlic, ginger, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. Cook for about 3 minutes.
TOSS- Stir in the reserved chicken and toss to combine.
SERVE- Garnish with scallions, serve with jasmine rice, and get your chopsticks ready!
SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS?
If you love this recipe, we hope you will try one of these Chinese-inspired meals!
- Jasmin Rice
- Dan Dan Noodles
- Spring Roll
- Wontons in Chili Oil
- Sautéed Peppers
- Stir Fried Cabbage
- Sautéed String Bean
- Sichuan Eggplant
- Mapu Tofu
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Many flavors come through in this dish- spicy, sweet, and salty. The combination of peppercorns, chilies, and garlic adds heat and savoriness to the chicken, while the sweetness comes through in the sauce.
For most, Sichuan chicken is going to be pretty spicy. But, it’s not as spicy as it looks. And if you eat Chongqing Laziji with chopsticks, you can easily pick the chicken out of the dish, leaving the chilies behind.
YOU SHOULD ALSO LIKE:
Sichuan Chicken – Chongqing Laziji
For the Marinade:
For the Chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups corn starch
- 2 quarts canola oil
For the Dish:
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, dried, red or green
- 1 cup Arbol chilies, dried, diced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and julienne
- 4 cloves garlic, julienne
- ½ teaspoon white sugar, granulated
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Combine cornstarch and salt on a plate.
- Place the marinated chicken and leave it to drain in a colander for 1-2 minutes.
- Add ½ of the chicken to the cornstarch mixture. Stir to coat, then shake off any excess. Set the chicken onto the wire rack, and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Allow the oil to return to 350° and repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan or wok, heat canola oil, Arbol chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns until they begin to sputter.
- Next, add the garlic, ginger, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved chicken and toss to combine.
- Garnish with scallions, serve with jasmine rice, and get your chopsticks ready!
- Web Story: Check out my web story for Sichuan chicken!