September 25, 2012
This post will be taking a slight departure from the usual posts you see from me. Instead of posting an actual recipe, this is going to be more about a "method" of cooking. Topic - Chinese style chicken, aka chicken that's battered and fried then tossed in your sauce of choice (teriyaki, sweet & sour, etc.).
First I gotta start off by saying that I hate frying food, and for the most part don't care for eating fried foods (with a few exceptions of course). However, there are some things that I enjoy eating that I guess have to be fried. For instance, my family really likes General Chicken, but the nearest Chinese restaurant is about 30 minutes away (and as far as my thighs are concerned, this is not a bad thing). So, needless to say, I think we get Chinese take-out about once a year. The rest of the year, if we get a craving for Chinese food, I buy it frozen at the grocery store.
It has been my mission for a long time to find a way to cook Chinese style chicken at home, from scratch. I have tried it a few times and each time it was a disaster. It all goes back to frying (or so I thought) - I hate frying foods and I'm convinced it hates me too. The coating never stays on, or the oil is too hot, or the oil in not hot enough.....in the end it just ends up being one big oily mess. UNTIL NOW.....I have found THE method of frying & cooking the chicken so it comes out perfectly - just like chicken from your favorite Chinese restaurant. It really is so simple, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure it out!!!
Of course, I have collected many recipes over the years for various Chinese style chicken recipes. I was looking all of them over recently and one in particular caught my eye (unfortunately, I don't know where I got the recipe from). After reading the recipe I realized I hadn't come across this method of cooking the chicken before so I knew I had to try it. I was afraid to get my hopes up only to end up with another failure, but I've had a jar of General Chicken Sauce sitting in my cabinet for a while now so I figured it was time to give this another shot. Man, even though I hate the way my house smells after all that frying, this method worked and our dinner of General Chicken came out perfectly!!!! I am so excited about this - now that I got the method for cooking the chicken down, I can start experimenting with making different homemade Chinese style sauces for the chicken. This is exciting stuff people!!!
Chinese Style Chicken (serves 4)
3 chicken breasts
1 heaping cup of cornstarch
2-3 eggs, beaten
1/4 or so of canola oil
Preheat your oven to 325, and pour the oil into a large skillet or saucepan and turn to medium-high to get it hot. Put the cornstarch into a medium sized bowl, and beat your eggs in another medium sized bowl. Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, then dredge them in the cornstarch. After dredging the chicken in the cornstarch, transfer it to the eggs and make sure each piece of chicken is coated with the beaten egg. Then into the HOT oil - you want to cook it in the oil just until it's nice and brown on both sides (maybe 2-3 minutes on each side).
Line a cookie sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Once all the chicken is nice a brown from the frying, place it on the cookie sheet pan. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and it's nice and crispy. Remove from oven and place all the chicken into a large bowl, then pour your sauce of choice all over and toss to combine. ENJOY!