My father-in-law is back in Taiwan again for two weeks after a short
trip to China. In spite of him not being at home that much these
past few days, I did manage to get in a few lessons. For those of
you who did not read the past messages related to this topic, my
father-in-law is a chef with about 50 years of experience. I can't
help but be awestruck as I watch him work in our kitchen at lightening
speed in spite of his advanced age.
Yesterday I made a chicken dish that is somewhat similar to orange
chicken (call it that for lack of a better name). He didn't
supervise me the whole time, but rather gave me a list of ingredients with approximate measurements.
2 cups chicken breast meat
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approximation)
Approximately 1/4 cup water or low-sodium chicken broth (to dilute soy sauce - otherwise too salty; I used water)
2 or 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
For starters, I cut up about 3 cups of chicken breast meat and set
it aside. Next, I made the Sauce which is surprisingly simple, but
At first I was against using so much sugar and vinegar in
the sauce, but
my father-in-law insisted on using large amounts of near equal portions
of both. Who's to argue with 50 years of experience?
About 2 hours prior to making this dish, I poured a little of the
sauce mixture in with the breast nuggets so meat would soak up flavor.
To do otherwise would not allow the sauce to deeply penetrate the
meat. Yesterday, after frying my first batch of chicken, I tasted
a piece and it was delicious without the sauce! After pouring enough
of sauce to cover chicken pieces, I mixed in cornstarch (1/4 cup!)
and let mixture sit in refrigerator.
While mixture sat in refrigerator, I cut up some red and green bell
peppers and green onion (total of approximately 1 cup). Later, I
beat a couple of egg whites until frothy and set aside. After removing
chicken from refrigerator, I poured off sauce mixture and dipped
chicken pieces in egg white (my father-in-law claims that this helps
to tenderize chicken pieces - VERY IMPORTANT.
Next, I mixed in at least 1/2 cup cornstarch (using large quantity
- VERY IMPORTANT - and mixed with hands until mixture became very
gooey. After placing meat back in refrigerator, I heated bit of
oil in wok, added 1 clove of minced garlic and sautéed bell peppers
for about 3 minutes before adding green onions. I sautéed for another
1 - 2 minutes before removing from fire and adding more oil to fry
After oil was hot (about 360 degrees F), I placed chicken pieces
in oil, trying to separate them as best as possible. After frying
chicken (about 1-1/2 - 2 minutes per piece), I drained pieces on
paper towel-lined plate.
Next, I added sauce to wok and heated for a minute or so before
adding about 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with equal amount
of water. After stirring, I added vegetables and brought mixture
to boil. Afterwards, I reduced heat and simmered until mixture started
to thicken, at which point I added chicken pieces and heated for
about 1 minute.
This dish was served over white rice and was delicious. The flavor
was tangy and sweet, nothing like anything I've had before.
This would also be great with pork!
I made this dish without my father-in-law's supervision because
he had a bunch of errands to run. He said I did a pretty good job,
but should have added a little oil to the egg white/cornstarch mixture
before frying the chicken. This would have made the nuggets crispier.
Oh well, I guess experience is the best teacher.
P.S. I also learned a vegetable and sauce trick which I will post
in the near future. Tomorrow I will probably make a crispy beef
dish with my father-in-law. This time, however, he promised to walk
me through the steps instead of tell me what I should do and then
disappear . I feel I have good cooking instincts, but they can only
carry me so far--especially when it comes to making Chinese food
Posted by LladyRusty at Recipe Goldmine May 26, 2001.
Source: Posted by Cookin' Dad - 30 November 2000, 9:16 am -
Original Date: 15 October 2000 8:52 am