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.
- 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, cubed
- 1 large egg white
- 1 T. rice wine
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1 pound zucchini, sliced thinly
- 1/2 pound carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 T. minced fresh ginger
- 4-5 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled, then minced
- 2 T. Chinese salted black beans
- 3/4 tsp. dried red chili flakes
- 4 T. oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2-3 T. soy sauce
- 2 T. rice wine
- 2 1/2 T. vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
1 T. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T. cold chicken stock or water
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.
Serve with rice and crusty bread.