From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The ingredient list makes this recipe seem more difficult than it really is. In essence, it is a fairly simple Chinese-style dish that owes much to Orange Chicken and the famous General Tso. I make this for the Silver Fox when he has a taste for something sweet and sticky and we can both afford the calories that come with batter fried ingredients. I must admit that when I'm pressed for time I use jarred ginger and garlic to make quick work of this simple dish. The caramel sauce, if you are careful not to burn it, masks many sins. It is important to watch the sugar syrup as it cooks because it turns quickly and is prone to burning. You'll also want to be careful when you add the cornstarch mixture to the caramel sauce. It will bubble and foam, so be sure to use a pan large enough to prevent overflow and the burns which can come with it. If you're looking for a quick week night meal, you might want to give this recipe a try. Here is how the sticky chicken is made.
Asian-Style Hot and Sticky Chicken...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 egg + 2 tablespoons water whisked together to make an egg wash
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for deep frying
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine in a pinch)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1 - 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1) Combine flour, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger and salt in a bowl. Dip chicken in egg mixture and dredge in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer or wok until light golden brown. Drain on several layers of paper towels.
2) In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water, toasted sesame oil, paprika, chili paste, salt, corn starch, minced garlic and freshly grated ginger. Set aside.
3) In a medium saucepan or wok, boil together the 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water over medium heat, watching constantly until syrup starts to turn a light amber color and you can begin to smell the caramel. Do not stir. When it reaches this stage, give the other ingredients in the bowl a quick stir to make sure corn starch is dissolved then add it all at once to hot caramel. Be careful at this stage because this sauce can foam up considerably for a few seconds and it is very hot. Simmer for only few minutes and remove from heat and allow to cool down slightly.
4) Add chicken to pan, tossing to coat with sauce. Serve over plain steamed rice or Chinese noodles. Yield: 4 servings.
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