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Orange Chicken With Red Chilies, Szechuan Style -- Dave Dewitt

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“This is from Dave DeWitt's Fiery Foods web site. Dave was the publisher of Chile Pepper magazine and is now the publisher of Fiery Foods ... as well as a number of books on growing, preserving, cooking peppers. The recipe is for a traditional western Chinese dish. The combination of citrus and chicken is common in this region.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the marinade
  • 12 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth or 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 12 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • For the sauce
  • 12 tablespoon minced ginger (peeled)
  • 12 tablespoon minced garlic (peeled)
  • 1 minced scallion (green onion, spring onion)
  • 12 teaspoon ground szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth or 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon szechuan hot bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried orange peel, prepared as indicated below
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or 2 teaspoons honey
  • 12 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For the stir fry
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil (peanut, corn, or canola)
  • 6 small dried hot red chilies (Japones or de Arbol)


  1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, stir the liquid ingredients well, and then add the chicken.
  2. Leave the chicken in the marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Take the dried orange peel, soak it in hot water for 30 minutes, then shred it.
  4. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir well, and set aside.
  5. Heat the wok over high heat. Add the oil (must be an oil with high smoking point -- peanut, corn or canola are all good; don't use olive oil), swirl it around to coat the wok cooking surface.
  6. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the chilies and the marinated chicken.
  7. Stir fry for about 1 minute, until the chicken begins to take on color.
  8. Add the sauce and stir fry for another 30-45 seconds.
  9. Remove the chilies before serving, or tell your guests not to eat them!
  10. Serve over steamed rice or a pilaf.
  11. Heat scale depends entirely on the peppers, but should be medium for authenticity.
  12. Notes on special ingredients:
  13. If you can't get Szechuan peppercorns, you can substitute "bird of paradise" peppercorns. Szechuan peppercorns are NOT truly members of the pepper family (they are in the citrus family), so do NOT substitute with black peppercorns.
  14. Hot bean sauce is available in Chinese markets. The most authentic and best quality is made with broad beans, but soy bean paste is an acceptable alternative.
  15. Do not use habanero or tsin-tsin chiles -- they will overpower the other flavors in the dish.

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