Kitchen Simmer: Hunan Chicken

Chinese Hunan sauce Recipes

hunan chickenHunan Donan chicken is a spicy and savory chicken recipe which is quite popular in the middle part of China.

I get some feedback concerning about Hunan Chicken because it is a quite popular Chinese-American dish. I further consider about this suggestion and decide to make a collection of famous Chinese chicken recipes. Hunan chicken is for today and next week, I will introduce Xinjiang braised chicken with potatoes also named as big plate chicken after returning from Yunan travel.

The recipe I introduced today is a real Chinese version but you can make some adjustment for example adding some of your favorite vegetables. But the basic steps and seasonings should be the same.

My husband comes from Hubei province where Hunan cuisine is quite popular. I have learned lots of yummy Hunan cuisine from my mother in law. This famous Donan chicken is among one of them.

hunan chicken recipeDifference between Sichuan Chicken and Hunan Chicken

Comparing with Sichuan mala chicken, more seasonings are used in Hunan chicken. For example, usually larger amount of dried peppers and Sichuan peppercorn are used in Sichuan chicken. However soy sauce, rice vinegar and cooking wine, cornstarch are used in the stir-fry process, which gives Hunan chicken a more compound taste. This is a lighter version with the amount of spices reduced considering about the weather issue.

For the chicken, I recommend using younger hen and boil as a whole firstly in order to keep the original taste.

Chinese Hunan Chicken –Donan chicken

savory Chinese Hunan chicken is much easier but the same yummy as many other famous Chicken recipes.

hunan chickenIngredients

  • Half of a hen around 300g
  • 2 fresh long green peppers
  • 2 fresh long red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch root ginger, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, white part sliced and green part chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 dried pepper, cut into small sections or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorn (optional) or as needed (If vegetables are added, reduce the amount please)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or as needed (adjust according to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • Several drops of sesame oil
  • Some roasted sesame seeds for decoration


  1. Wash the hen in running water and then rinse in boiling water for around 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chicken out and then get some fresh and clean water in a pot (just cover the chicken); bring all the content to a boiling and continue cooking for 8 minutes (the chicken should be 80% cooked).
  3. Transfer the chicken out, cool down and cut into small chunks. Cut fresh peppers into small pieces. Mix the cornstarch with water to make the water starch.
  4. Heat up cooking oil in wok; add dried red pepper sections, Sichuan peppercorns whole seeds to stir-fry for around 1 minute. And then add garlic, ginger and white part of spring onion to stir-fry until aroma.
  5. Add chicken chunks and pepper pieces in. Pour in cooking wine, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Mix well.
  6. Add around 1 cup of chicken stock in wok and simmer the chicken for around 3 minutes.
  7. Pour the water starch and several drops of sesame oil in. Mix well and garnish some chopped spring onion and roasted sesame seed before serving.
  8. Serve hot please!


We do not need too much cornstarch for this dish. Other vegetables such as wood ear mushroom or broccoli can also be added based on the recipe

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