Gary's Strange Flavored Chicken

gary bannon


We have a neighborhood Chinese restaurant that we love and have been going to for years. One of our favorite takeout meals was a Szechuan style dish called Strange Flavored Chicken. We still think they offer the best Chinese food around, but they have taken that dish off the menu.
I had never attempted Chinese food at home but started craving that particular dish. After trial and error this is what I have come up with, and I think it's pretty good. ( If you don't like very spicy Szechuan you might want to cut down on the ginger and Chilies.)


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20 Min
10 Min


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  • 1 Tbsp
    vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp
    sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp
    chinese five spice powder
  • 2 lb
    boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 oz
    fresh snow peas (trimmed
  • 2 oz
    shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 small
    red chilies
  • 2-3
    carrots thinly julienned
  • 1
    red bell pepper julienned
  • 1 medium
    onion julienned
  • 1
    8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 c
    chicken broth
  • 1/4 c
    hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    chinese hot mustard
  • 1 Tbsp
    soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp
    corn starch
  • 2 tsp
    finely grated fresh ginger

How to Make Gary's Strange Flavored Chicken


  1. Gather all your ingredients and prep. everything ahead of time. Once you start cooking it will go quick and easy that way.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oils over medium-high heat
  3. Liberally season chicken with the Chinese five spice.
  4. In a small bowl, combine broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, Chinese hot mustard, ginger, and cornstarch. Set aside.

    * Note. I often use dried shiitake mushrooms for this dish. when I do I save the water I use to reconstitute them and then add a chicken bouillon cube to it and this is what I use for the broth.
  5. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Add the snow peas, mushrooms, chilies, carrots ,bell pepper, and onion and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the water chestnuts.
  7. Add the sauce mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium to medium-low, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  8. * Note: This dish goes great over hot cooked rice or rice noodles.

Printable Recipe Card

About Gary's Strange Flavored Chicken

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Chinese

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