The next time you come home exhausted from work and are tempted to pick up the phone to order some Chinese takeout, make this Lightened-Up Szechuan Chicken from chef Michael Schulson instead. It will probably hit your table quicker than delivery anyway, and it won’t leave you with that grease hangover.
Schulson—a master of Asian cuisine who runs Izakaya in Atlantic City, Sampan in Philadelphia and the new Saint James Place in the Philly suburbs—completely changed his diet and exercise regime last year. After waking up one morning exhausted after eight hours of sleep, he realized something needed to change. So Schulson dropped 30 pounds by cutting out his three daily triple espressos and most red meat, white flour and sugar—and eating more dishes like this one.
Trust us. Chicken breast never tasted so good.
For the brine:
- Chicken breast, skin-on
- 1 qt. water
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. salt
For the sauce:
- 1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 chicken breast, brined
- 2 tsp. grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
1. Make the brine: Combine water, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add chicken breast and refrigerate for 12 hours.
2. Combine Sriracha, dijon, garlic, chicken stock and soy sauce in a bowl and whisk.
3. Sear chicken breast in sauté pan over medium heat with oil until browned.
4. Pour sauce over chicken and finish in oven at 325˚ for 15 minutes.
5. Serve with poached or steamed broccoli.
Fit Factor: Not only is this recipe leaner and lighter than its takeout version (we’re talking a tiny fraction of the fat), but it also has significantly less sodium, meaning you won’t end up feeling ridiculously bloated.