I should warn you that this meal used several bowls and pans to make. This is a little time consuming, but so worth it and you'll feel awesome knowing you can do this. And if you clean up while it fries up, you'll be ahead of the game.
The things that you might not have in your stocked kitchen are:
*Red chili (or pepper) flakes
*Chinese rice wine (or rice vinegar)
*Hoisin Sauce (I finally found this at Winco for $3. A little pricey, but I plan on making this a lot with that $3 bottle.)
*Chili paste (This is in the aisle with the other Asian food. It's red and usually has garlic with it. It's SPICY!)
*Sesame oil (also in the Asian aisle.)
You just need a little of each of these things, so if you know someone who likes to cook with them, see if you can borrow a little before you invest in them. However, if you do buy them, you can use them often.
I bought some Oyster Sauce for a trial dinner once and it was DISGUSTING (to us....we don't like seafood and I could hardly even taste it after smelling Oyster Sauce.) I gave all the sauces I bought for that meal and the recipe to my friend and borrowed back the rice vinegar and sesame oil from her to make this.
Serves 4 adults as part of a multi-course meal, 2 to 3 adults as a main entree.
It served our family with two adults and three kids (maybe 2 1/2 is more like it) for TWO MEALS! I think next time I will double the sauce that goes on the fried chicken so it would flavor the rice a little more.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 3 slightly defrosted large chicken breasts), sliced into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups vegetable oil for frying, plus 1 tablespoon for stir-frying
8 dried whole red chilis, or substitute 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (I used red pepper flakes)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I like the little bottle of it you can buy in the produce section for a buck and it's ready anytime.)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, for garnish
Scallions, green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (I used rice vinegar)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup chicken stock, or substitute water (I used water and it was YUMMY!)
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1. Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, and egg whites (save the yolks to make fried rice with the leftover rice later). Coat the chicken in the marinade mixture and let sit for 10 minutes (or longer).
2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, tomato paste, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, chili paste, sesame oil, sugar, and the 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set the sauce aside.
3. In a large bowl or deep plate, toss the 1 1/2 cups cornstarch with the salt and pepper. Coat the marinated chicken in the cornstarch and shake off any excess before frying.
4. Heat the 3 cups of peanut or vegetable oil in your wok (or large frying pan) until it registers 350°F on an instant-read oil thermometer (or just set the temperature to medium-high and wait a minute or two). Working in 2 or 3 batches, add the first batch of chicken cubes and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
5. Drain the oil into a heatproof container and save for discarding. Wipe the wok with a paper towel to remove any brown bits, but don’t wash. Make sure to wipe the outside edge of the pan so it doesn't cause a fire.
6. Reheat the wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add another 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the base and sides. Add the dried chilis and garlic to the wok and stir-fry until just fragrant (such a great smell!), about 20 seconds. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Return the chicken to the wok and stir well to coat with sauce. (Again the next time I make this, I'm doubling the sauce.) Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Garnish with white sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with white rice and vegetables. I add the sesame seeds at the table because Andy doesn't like them and I didn't have scallions. It was still delicious and our 8 1/2 and 6 year old daughters gave it many thumbs up.
Let me know if you try this.