Schezwan Chicken



Can I tell you the hardest part of this recipe is spelling the word “schezwan”?  So true.  I still don’t even know if I have it spelled correctly.  If you know the true spelling, please feel free to enlighten me!  I won’t mind at all!

Now on to the important stuff!  The food. 

My husband claims not to like any Chinese food besides sweet and sour chicken and I am determined that he does like it, he is just afraid to try anything that wasn’t simple English.  Moo Goo Gai Pan?  Nah.  General Tso?  Nah.  Really, he probably likes them all but doesn’t know what they mean so he won’t try them.  I have now broadened his horizons to my favorite Chinese eat.  I love anything spicy and this dish fits the bill perfectly.  My one word of caution is to add the red pepper with caution.  If you like spice, start easy.  If you don’t, start even easier.  The first time we made this dish with the original recommended amount of red pepper, we called it fire sauce.  It was so ridiculously hot that we had to get napkins to wipe our noses and eyes.  There may have been a cup of milk for each of us as well. 

I love strifry type meals.  They are easily adaptable to everyone’s tastes and preferences.  You can also make them as healthy as possible.  Growing up stirfry meant rice but I have fallen in love with rice noodles that you can buy at almost any grocery store in the Asian foods section.  Try them!

I like chicken and shrimp with my stirfry but my husband is anti shrimp so ours typically are just chicken. You could always use some sort of steak as well.  For three to four servings I use two medium sized chicken breasts and as many vegetables as I can stuff in there.  I like to use vegetable mixes that include water chestnuts.  I do think I am the only one the world that likes water chestnuts!  But don’t think you have to stick to just a plain old bag of frozen vegetables.  Throw in some edamame, julienned carrots, snow peas, fresh peppers, garlic, onions, broccoli, or any other vegetable you like.  I like to have about 1-2 cups of vegetables per person, 1/2 cup of cooked meat per person and 2 oz of rice noodle or rice per person.  If you like more of one, just increase the quantities accordingly. 

The recipe below is only for the schezwan sauce.  Again, I caution you to add the red pepper according to your taste. You can always add but never take away.  The portion below is suppose to be for four people but we must use a lot more sauce than that because I have had to double it for our servings.  Don’t worry about the amount of garlic.  I will admit it is scary but you can do it.  It really makes the flavor so authentic.  If you buy garlic in those glass bottles instead of in the head, it is really easy to have the amount you need.

Schezwan Sauce

8 tbsp water
4 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1. Mix all ingredients in small bowl with a whisk
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat warm until thickened to desired consistency.
3. Pour over stirfry vegetables and chicken.
Note:  I prefer to keep the sauce and the stirfry items seperate as I like a lot less sauce than my husband.  This way the sauce portion is controlled to my liking and his.  If you prefer everything to be coated, after mixing the ingredient with a whisk, pour the sauce over the stirfry mixture and allow to thicken approximately five minutes. 

What the schnitzel?

He he.  I am still laughing about my title.  So glad I can entertain myself. 
Two or three years ago, I was browsing a Cooking Light magazine and this chicken recipe popped out at me.  It seemed like a way to cook chicken that I had never heard of before. In that time, I still have never had any schnitzel besides this recipe.  I imagine that as tasty as this recipe is, the full fat version must be over the top. 
Don’t be scared by fact that you may have no clue what schnitzel is.  This recipe seems to be an adaptation of a parm crusted chicken.  And if you are a non mustard fan like myself, again do not be afraid. I don’t like mustard, let alone strong and potent ones like dijon.  But this recipe?  Does not lead you astray.    The chicken ends up incredibly tender and moist yet has just enough crispy crust to make your mouth water. 
Chicken Schnitzel (serves 2)- adapted from Cooking Light
1 large chicken breast or 2 small
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 large egg blended
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp fresh parm
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp chives chopped (I use regular onion)
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350
2.  Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/2 inch thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper
3. Place flour in shallow dish.  Combine mustard and egg in seperate shallow dish.  In another dish, combine breadcrumbs, parm, parsley, garlic and onion. 
4.  Dredge chicken in flour then dip in egg mixture.  Dredge in breadcrumb mixture. 
5. Heat oil in large skillet.  Add chicken and saute until browned on each side.   (3 minutes approx per side)
6.  Place chicken on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Serve this with a salad and some red potatoes and it is scrumptious!!!  You could change recipe by using pork or even turkey cutlets.