The ever popular chilli chicken can never go wrong; especially with this fail-proof recipe!
If I am not wrong, chilli chicken will be voted unanimously as most popular chicken dish in India! Chilli chicken is sold at all kinds of Chinese food joints in every nook and corner of any Indian city – big or small and it was my best bet while eating out during my childhood.
My mum rarely made it at home as she used to think it is kind of complicated and she would never achieve that particularly delicious taste of restaurant no matter how hard she try. But trust me, this chilli chicken tastes absolutely like your favorite Chinese take-out and it does not take all the time plus effort of the world to make it at home!
I am sure that chilli chicken has as many versions as one could ever imagine and every restaurant adds their own twist to it. Even you may have your own customized version and I would love to know that.
What I have done here to make sure that the chicken remains tender and juicy after cooking is to brining it in a solution of cold water and vinegar. Do you have any special trick on how to keep chicken moist and tender after cooking?
Do you see the chicken above which looks so absolutely delicious? I made this a week ago and now while writing this article, I am again craving for them! I wish I could savor some of them right now!
I like it best as an appetizer and prefer the sauce to be just coating the chicken cubes and not too runny. But this also goes really well with Chinese fried rice as well. So if you decide to serve it with rice, you can increase the amount of water a bit to keep a little more sauce at the end. Do give this a try and keep visiting my space for more exciting recipes! Seeya soon!
Serves: 6 servings
- Skinless Chicken breast – 500 gms
- Oil for deep frying and for sauce
- Cold water – 1 cup
- White wine vinegar – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Ginger-garlic paste – 1 & ½ tbsp
- Black pepper powder – ½ tsp
- All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 cup
- Cornflour – ½ cup
- Refined vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
- Baking powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Water as required
- Green onions – 5 to 6 [I didn't have it handy, so I skipped it!]
- Yellow bell pepper – 1, small, cut into triangles
- Green bell pepper – 1, small, cut into triangles
- Onion – 1, medium, cut into squares and each scales separated
- Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped very finely or grated
- Garlic – 10 to 12 cloves, minced
- Dry red chilli – 2
- Dark soy sauce – 5 tbsp
- Tomato ketchup – 3 tbsp
- Red or green chilli sauce – 3 tbsp or more if you like more heat
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Cornflour – 2 tsp
- Water as required
- Cut the chicken breast lengthwise into long strips. Then cut each strips into bite-sized pieces keeping your knife at 45 degree angle.
- Mix the brining ingredients together – salt, sugar, ginger-garlic paste, black pepper powder, white wine vinegar and water. Add cut chicken into it and keep refrigerated for 1.5 to 2 hours. This brining process makes the chicken extremely tender and juicy after cooking.
- After 2 hours, prepare the batter for the chicken. Mix all-purpose flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and oil. Mix well and then add enough water to make a thick batter. Don’t make it too runny; the batter should coat the chicken very well.
- Take the chicken out from the brining solution and add to the batter.
- Heat enough oil in a deep frying skillet and let the oil smoke. [High smoking point oils like canola or sunflower oil work best for this recipe.]
- Take each chicken piece out from the batter and tip into the hot oil. Do not crowd the skillet too much as that would bring down the temperature of the oil making the chicken soggy.
- Fry the chicken pieces in batches until very lightly browned. Take them out on a kitchen towel. We will fry these chicken pieces again till done. Double frying makes the chicken very moist and juicy.
- Rest the chicken for 15 minutes after first frying. After 15 minutes, deep fry the chicken pieces again until golden brown and chicken is cooked through. To check if the chicken is properly cooked, cut a piece of chicken and check if any traces of pink are left. If not, chicken is done.
- To prepare the sauce, heat another wok and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Add the dry red chilies, minced ginger, chopped garlic and the chopped white part of the green onions, if using. Sauté on high flame.
- Tip in the chopped bell peppers and onions. Cook them until soft.
- In the meantime, prepare a slurry by mixing the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside.
- Once the bell peppers and onions are nice and soft, add the cornflour slurry. Stir to mix well.
- Next add the dark soy sauce, chilli sauce, tomato ketch up and keep stirring. Add a cup of water and keep sautéing on high heat.
- Add sugar, salt and black pepper powder. Mix well. The sauce would have thickened by now.
- When the sauce reaches your desired consistency, turn the flame off. Let it sit for 5 minutes so that the steam escapes.
- Now add the fried chicken and toss the wok to coat all the chicken pieces well with the sauce.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the green portion of the green onions. I garnished with sesame seeds since green onions were missing in my pantry.
- Serve hot as a delicious appetizer or with Chinese fried rice!