The increasingly popular Indo-Chinese cuisine is showcased here with the amazing chilli chicken. Crispy seasoned deep-fried chicken is mixed in with a thick hot, tangy, sweet, and sour sauce laced with green and red peppers.
You don’t need any base gravy, and it’s adaptable in many ways: you can use pork, paneer, prawns, or even a crunchy vegetable like cauliflower.
Thanks goes to the highly skilled Bradfordian chef Christian Lambert, from whom I based and tweaked the recipe into the Misty Ricardo format. For details of Christian’s catering company: The Pizza Pod.
This recipe (based on 500g of raw chicken thigh or breast) will feed 4 or 5 people as a starter or snack. Alternatively serve as a main dish to feed 3-4 alongside rice, noodles, or other less convention accompaniment, for example chips.
Scale up or down to suit your needs, and of course adjust the chilli content to suit your desired heat level.
The Chicken Batter
- Oil for deep frying
- 500g Chicken Breast or Thigh, skinless and boneless, cut into 2cm chunks.
- 3 TBSP Cornflour
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½-1 tsp White Pepper
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 1½ TBSP Dark Soy Sauce
- 1-2 tsp Chilli Powder or Chilli Flakes
- 3 TBSP Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Green Pepper, and Red Pepper, each cut into 2-3 cm chunks
- 2-3 Fresh Chillies (red, green, or a mixture)
- 6 Garlic Cloves, minced or very finely chopped
- 2-3cm Fresh Ginger, minced or very finely chopped
- 4 TBSP Dark Soy Sauce
- 5 TBSP Tomato Ketchup
- 2 TBSP Chilli Sauce of your choice (optional)
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Vinegar (e.g. cider, white, rice, malt)
- 3 Spring Onions, chopped into rings
- 250ml Hot Water
- 3 TBSP Cornflour mixed with water to form a slurry (for thickening)
- 1-2 TBSP Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
- Mix the chicken, cornflour, salt, white pepper, egg, dark soy sauce and the chilli powder/flakes together in a bowl.
- Heat a large pan with a minimum depth of 15cm oil to approx. 170º-180º. Make sure the oil fills no more than half the height of the pan.
- Deep fry the battered chicken pieces for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Cook in batches to avoid the pan being overcrowded and the oil losing excessive temperature.
- Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Now for the sauce, you will need a large frying pan or a wok.
- Heat 3 TBSP oil on the highest setting. When hot add the onions followed by the peppers ten seconds later.
- Stir fry for a couple of minutes until the edges of the onion and pepper start to char, then add the fresh chillies, garlic and ginger.
- Continue frying on full heat for one more minute, stirring frequently.
- Then add the dark soy sauce, tomato ketchup, sugar, vinegar, the hot water, and the optional chilli sauce (optional).
- Mix well together and turn the heat down to medium.
- Continue cooking for a further minute, then add the chicken pieces, and half of the spring onions and coriander.
- Stir together then add the cornflour slurry. Mix well again.
- Here’s an important bit: taste the sauce. If desired adjust the flavour to your taste with extra salt, chilli, tomato ketchup, sugar, and/or vinegar.
- Finally, top with the remaining fresh coriander and spring onions and serve hot with your choice of accompaniment. Chī chī chī, acche se khaiye ga!
- All spoon measurements are level. 1 tsp=5ml. 1 TBSP=15ml