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Szechuan Firecracker Chicken with Bell Pepper Pineapple Stir-fry

Szechuan Firecracker Chicken with Bell Pepper Pineapple Stir-fry

Szechuan Firecracker Chicken with Bell Pepper Pineapple Stir-fry

Mmmmm....sweet, salty, tangy and sticky with a real kick!

We had just returned home from our adventure on the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route when I looked into the refrigerator I found that I had some fresh pineapple and red bell pepper that really needed to be used up first. Sometimes it's like being on the Food Network show "Chopped" when you come home from a trip and just have to use what's been left. It's a challenge I accept.

We had been eating out for a week in the morning and evening and on mountain back roads all day for several days eating jerky and granola bars and peanuts which are nice and get you by but we were really looking forward to a real home cooked meal. This is what I came up with.

The Firecracker sauce is addictive! Especially because I use some Szechuan peppercorns in this recipe. Szechuan peppercorns are not true peppercorns. They give the sauce a spicy menthol like tongue numbing wonderful goodness you just have to experience for yourself. You can, of course, leave them out if you don't have any or don't care for them. I buy mine from an Asian market but you can order them online and sometimes find them in your grocery store. Be warned, the green ones I bought last time were extra potent! The black seem to be milder.

Firecracker Sauce

Firecracker Sauce! Glossy and Gorgeous!

Red Bell Pepper and Pineapple Stir-fry

Red Bell Pepper and Pineapple Stir-fry

Pan Fried Chicken Breasts

Chicken Breasts

Firecracker chicken breasts

Firecracker Chicken Breasts

Put them all together, sprinkle with sesame seeds and you're in business!





Szechuan Firecracker Chicken with Bell Pepper Pineapple Stir-fry


4 boneless chicken breasts or 6 boneless thighs

1 large red bell pepper chopped into large pieces 4 teaspoons minced garlic 1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks (drained) 1/2 cup Roma or other meaty tomatoes sliced into wedges

1 can sliced water chestnuts (drained)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

salt & pepper for the chicken breasts sesame seeds for garnish

For the Firecracker Sauce

1 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Original Hot Sauce) 2 cups dark brown sugar 4 tablespoons rose hip or apple cider vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon crushed Szechuan peppercorns (optional but they really work in this dish!) 4 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons grated ginger 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it really spicy)

For the Stir-Fry Sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons pineapple juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 cups water


Make the Firecracker Sauce and reserve about 3/4 cup for serving

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 10-15 minutes until thickened.

Make the Stir-Fry Sauce

Add all ingredients to a 2 cup measuring pitcher or bowl and whisk together until blended.

Set it aside until it's added at the end of the stir-fry. Stir well just before adding it to the stir fry to fully incorporate the cornstarch evenly so the sauce doesn't turn out lumpy.

Cook the Chicken

Salt & pepper the chicken then pan sear it in one tablespoon of canola oil and one teaspoon of sesame oil just until golden on both sides over medium high heat. Move the chicken to a preheated 400 degree oven on a parchment sheet covered baking pan and baste with some of the Firecracker sauce 2 or 3 times until the chicken is done. (about 15 minutes)

Make the Stir-fry

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a large saute pan on medium high. Add the chopped red bell pepper, 4 teaspoons minced garlic, pineapple chunks and sliced water chestnuts. Stir-fry for about 4-6 minutes then add the tomato and stir-fry 1 minute more.

Add the stir-fry sauce and stir until the sauce comes to a boil, clears, darkens and thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Serve the Firecracker glazed chicken with the pineapple stir-fry over jasmine rice with the reserved Firecracker sauce for drizzling.

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