The restaurant favorite is based on an authentic Hunan dish that translates roughly as “ancestor meeting place chicken.” If you like, you can thicken the sauce by whisking 2 teaspoons cornstarch in with the other sauce ingredients. For more sauce, increase the sauce ingredients by 1/2 (3 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine, etc).
Serves 3 to 4
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
- Cornstarch, as needed
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons chicken broth or water
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch for thickening sauce, optional
- 3 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
- 5 to 10 small dried red chilli peppers, according to taste
- 3 â€“ 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying, as needed
2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Thinly slice the green onions.
3. Heat the oil in a wok to between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit (175 – 180 degrees Celsius). Drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and deep-fry until crispy (3 to 4 minutes). Remove the chicken cubes and drain on paper towels.
4. Drain and clean out the wok. Heat 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced green onions and the dried chili peppers. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
5. Add the deep-fried chicken cubes back into the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken cubes are browned (about 1 minute).
6. Push the chicken up to the sides of the wok. Give the sauce a quick restir and add into the middle of the wok. If you added cornstarch to the sauce, stir it continually for 1 – 2 minutes to thicken.
7. Mix the sauce with the chicken. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.