Hot and Sour Hunan Chicken

In order to keep stir-fried chicken moist, I learned that you need to first "velvet" the chicken in water, broth or oil. This is a brief precooking step that seals in the juices before the stir-frying. This is a pretty and very fragrant dish using salted Chinese black beans, plenty of garlic and ginger and a touch of hot chili flakes.




Aromatic Seasonings

Liquid Seasonings

Stir-fry thickener

Blend chicken marinade ingredients, add chicken, seal, and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Clean and slice vegetables. Mince ginger and garlic. Add black beans, and process in food processor. Add chili flakes. Seal and put aside.
Velveting the chicken
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add marinated chicken, in small batches, and cook for ONLY 20 seconds. Remove to a plate.
Heat heavy skillet or wok until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water. Add 4 T. oil. Reduce heat slightly, and add aromatics. Stir 15 seconds; then add carrots. Stir to separate. Add zucchini, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Fold in the chicken, and add liquids. Raise the heat to boiling. Stir for 4-5 seconds, and simmer while covered. Cook for 2 minutes. Test vegetables for doneness. Add cornstarch mixture. Stir for 5 seconds until thick and glossy.
Back to Ruth's Kitchen
Serve with rice and crusty bread.