Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Chilli Chicken

My foray into cooking Chinese cuisine is thanks to my cousin Ashita Didi. Everything I did before that is insignificant, irrelevant ! It all began with our get-together at my other cousin Geetanjali's place in Michigan. My aunt and uncle were visiting so we all decided to come together and spend some quality family time over a long weekend. That weekend changed my way of cooking Chinese food forever! Thank you for that Ashita didi!

Servings: 4

Ingredients :

Boneless chicken breast: 1 lb cleaned and cut into bite size pieces ( my pieces in the picture are a little bigger than what I would have wanted as I had made them with another dish in mind but ended up using them for this!).

For marination of chicken:
Soy sauce : 1 tbsp
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Corn flour: 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp

For the sauce:
Onion: 2 medium, diced, big
Garlic: 6-8 small cloves,chopped julienne
Ginger:2 inch piece,chopped julienne
Green chillies: 4-6 ( depending on your spice level and the spice level if the chilli ), chopped fine
Capsicum/Green Bell pepper: 1 large , diced big.
Soy sauce : 1 tbsp +4tbsp
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Corn flour: 1 tbsp+ 1 tsp
Spring onions : 1 bunch, chopped fine
Cooking Oil : 3 tbsp+ 2 tbsp
Water : 1 cup( optional)
Salt to taste
Sugar: pinch


Marinate chicken with 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp soya sauce,  1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tbsp corn flour. Mix well and keep aside for atleast 20 mins in the fridge.

Mix  1 tsp corn starch and  4 tbsp soy sauce and keep aside.

Heat a wok on high heat 3 tbsp oil. Fry  the marinated chicken in a single layer and keep aside in a plate/ dish. You might need to fry it in batches depending on the size of your wok. Chicken breast cooks pretty quickly when done on high heat. Make sure that you don't overcook or undercook your chicken. If overlooked, the chicken will be dry. If undercooked most likely you will get a tummy upset!:(. How do you know the chicken is done? It generally turns white and when you cut it in the middle it should not be pink!

Heat the same wok on high heat,add the remaining oil. When the oil  is hot, add garlic , then ginger. Sauté for 30 secs, then add chopped onions, sauté for 2 minutes.Now add green chillies, then bell pepper and sauté for another minute.Now add the cooked chicken,cornstarch-soy sauce mixture and mix well. Add salt as needed, pinch of sugar and vinegar. Add 1/2- 1 cup water and mix well if you don't want it dry.Let it cook for 3-4 mins.

Garnish with finely chopped spring onions/ scallions.

Serve with hot jasmine rice!


Cooking made easy:

I have said this before, when you bring home chicken from the store, before dumping it into the freezer, try cleaning it and applying a basic marinade of lemon juice, salt and pepper and then freeze it in batches in small plastic containers or freezer bags.This way you can pull out a bag, thaw it and cook chicken anytime you want without having to spend additional time cleaning, marinating etc. Dinner is ready!

Tip for Healthy Living:

Today, lets discuss organic vs regular chicken. So, how is organic chicken different? Organic means that the chicken has been fed organic feed, given outdoor access and has not the use of antibiotics has been avoided. Organic feed means grains that are not genetically modified and grains whose crop has not been treated with synthetic pesticides.This means that these chicken have less chemical residues in their bodies and therefore are more healthy. Whenever possible it is best to use organic chicken. 


Food for thought

Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone! ( unknown).