Chili Chicken with Orange Peel

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h

Serves 6

This is one of the gentler dishes to come from the great western province of Sichuan (Szechwan). The recipe uses a typical Sichuanese blend of aromatics (the Sichuan/Szechwan wild pepper, chilis, ginger, scallions/spring onions and sugar), with the surprise addition of orange zest (rind).
I suspect this last innovation has been "borrowed" from the South, where the idea of using fresh fruits with meats is popular, many classic Cantonese dishes calling for dried fruits and peel, particularly mandarine (tangerine ) peel.


  • For Marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (available at Chinese stores) or dry sherry
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Good pinch of white pepper
  • Good pinch of roasted Sichuan peppercorns (fagara) (available at Chinese stores)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, for thickening
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch finger lengths
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil

  • 3 tablespoons groundnut peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon shredded fresh ginger
  • 4 scallions, white parts cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths; green parts sliced diagonally into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 dried red chili, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest julienne
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine, or dry sherry
  • For Sauce:
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce


Combine all of the marinade ingredients and use to coat chicken pieces, working in well with your hands. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle in the chili oil.

Heat the peanut oil in a preheated wok until the oil begins to smoke. Add the ginger, the white parts of the scallions and the dried chili and sauté briefly, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry over maximum heat until the color changes from pink to white (1-2 minutes.) Toss in the orange zest and mix. Sprinkle on the rice wine. Reduce the heat to low and gently stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Make a space in the center of the wok and slowly pour in the sauce. Stir constantly until the sauce boils. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly, and add the green parts of the scallions just before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2590

nutrition information per serving

164 calories; 9g total fat; 42mg cholesterol; 383mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 16g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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