Try this fragrant crispy chicken

Pittsburgh Post-GazetteMarch 4, 2014 

FOOD CRISPY-CHICKEN PG

It’s the Chinese Year of the Horse, and what better way to celebrate than to fire up your wok? Fragrant crispy chicken combines succulent dark meat with an extremely tasty marinade.

GRETCHEN MCKAY — Gretchen McKay/MCT

It’s the Chinese Year of the Horse, and what better way to celebrate than to fire up your wok? This dish combines succulent dark meat with an extremely tasty marinade. Double-frying the thighs quickly, at high heat, assures the meat is crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside.

Serve with steamed rice and scallion pancakes. Don’t forget the fortune cookies, which you can find in the Asian section of most larger grocery stores.

Fragrant Crispy Chicken

From “Complete Chinese Cookbook” by Ken Hom (Firefly, 2011).

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

3 whole green onions

2 slices fresh ginger

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon five-spice powder

1 teaspoon roasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns (available at Asian markets)

Salt and black pepper

2 1/3 cups peanut or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

2 teaspoons sugar

PLACE chicken thighs between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and lightly pound them until they are evenly flat. Put them into a bowl and set aside.

MAKE marinade: Combine rice wine, light and dark soy sauces, green onions and ginger in a blender and puree. Strain puree over chicken. Add honey, five-spice powder and ground Sichuan peppercorns and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and mix well. Let chicken marinate for 45 minutes.

REMOVE chicken from bowl and reserve marinade. Heat wok or large skillet over high heat until it is hot. Add oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add chicken and fry for 5 minutes. Remove chicken and drain, then reheat oil in the wok until it is very hot. Fry chicken again until it is crispy and golden brown. Remove chicken from wok and drain well on paper towels. Drain off all oil and discard. Cut chicken into slices and arrange on a platter.

REHEAT wok over medium heat and add reserved marinade, sesame oil, chopped green onions and sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil and pour over chicken. Serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings.

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