Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chili Chicken

Chili Chicken is a pretty common Indo-Chinese dish in India. I’m not very familiar with the Indo-Chinese food but since my husband is from India, he likes the Chinese food made there. Since I’ve never tasted before either, I just have to go with the online versions of this dish. This is one of the recipes of VahChef that I found few years back while exploring new cuisines. I often refer to his recipes for Indian Cuisine.

Most of the recipes call for deep frying the chicken first, and then stir fry the vegetables and combine the two. As much as I love deep fried food, when it comes to frying at home, I try to avoid it as much as possible. This is mainly because I don’t enjoy the frying process and also because of the amount of oil that gets wasted. Of course, the deep fried chicken will have much better texture with a crunch, so experiment and play with it to see which one you prefer. This recipe is a stir fry version, which is much healthier and I believe is a good compromise.

Chili Chicken

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

For marinate:
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast or thigh – cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon light soy/soya sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste

Other Ingredients:
3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1/4 cup cashew nuts
10 dry red chilies – cut in half and seeds removed (adjust to taste)
1 inch ginger – grated or finely chopped
5 to 6 cloves of garlic – crushed or finely chopped
1 medium onion – cut in 1 inch cubes
2 cups mixture of green, red and orange bell peppers or 1 green bell pepper – cut into 1 inch squares
1 celery stalk – roughly chopped
1 green onion – thinly sliced
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
3 tablespoons light soy/soya sauce
2 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cup water or chicken stock
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of corn flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Few sprigs of cilantro – roughly chopped for garnishing

  1. In a bowl, combine chicken with all marinate ingredients, mix well and keep aside while preparing other ingredients.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and fry cashew nuts for few minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oil and keep aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add 1 more tbsp of oil and heat it over high heat. Once hot, add chicken, spread it around and let stand for a minute or so. After a minute, stir chicken and cook for few more minutes until lightly golden in color and almost cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Have all ingredients ready as stir frying goes pretty quick. Heat the same skillet with remaining 1 tbsp of oil over high heat. Add the dry red chili and stir. Add ginger, garlic and stir for few seconds.
  5. Add onion stir few times and cook for a minute.
  6. Add bell peppers, celery and green onion and stir.
  7. Season with pepper and add chili powder, soy/soya sauce, chili garlic sauce, sugar and stir well.
  8. Add water, vinegar and chicken and mix well. Season it with salt if necessary.
  9. Add prepared corn flour liquid 1 tbsp at a time adjusting to the desire thickness of the gravy.
  10. Add sesame oil, fried cashew nuts, stir once and garnish with cilantro.
  11. Serve hot with steam rice.
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