( I have made this dish with cauliflower too and it tastes just as good ... so vegetarians and vegans can give it a try. )
Chilli chicken has to have chillies. And it should be hot ... real hot. Back home we got chilli chicken that had biggish pieces of chicken ... bones and all ... not the pathetic wee little boneless pieces we get here ... deep fried in a thick batter and tossed in soy gravy.
And did it have chillies! Either chopped or slit lengthwise, it would be full of fresh green chillies that used to be so hot we had to pick them out from the dish before gorging.
Out here, what we get is so different. First you get small bite sized pieces of god-knows-what, dunked into so dark a soy gravy that you feel it has been deliberately used to hide whatever is missing.
And the worse part is you get no chillies. The whole dish would be full of capsicums .... green capsicums ... cut thickly, often bigger than the chicken pieces.
How I hate them! I mean I really cannot understand this obsession with capsicums / bell peppers when it comes to cooking Chinese dishes.
Does not matter if you have good vegetables or not, does not matter if you have good chicken or prawns or not ... just throw in mugfuls of soy sauce and handfuls of ajinomoto and bucketfuls of bell peppers ... and you have a Chinese dish done.
Even the best Chinese restaraunts are obsessed with dunking in bell peppers into dishes.
Anyway, when I want to have chilli chicken, I make some for myself. And I do not go the whole way of deep frying and stuff.
Just a quick toss of things available at home ... and a quick cooking process. And a hot dish is ready.
So if you are home after a long day, just put this on the stove top and put your feet up. Your dinner would be ready in less than half an hour. :-)
Chicken - 6 to 8 pieces ( I use Real Good )
White Vinegar - around 3 tbsp
Onions - 2, medium sized, sliced thickly
Garlic - 8 cloves, chopped
Green chillies - according to preference, chopped
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
How to :
Marinate the chicken with vinegar ( do not add salt ) and keep aside ( for as long as you make the other preparations).
Chop and slice the vegetables.
Heat oil in a wok / kadahi.
Add the onions, garlic and chillies and stir fry for a while.
After the onions turn pinkish, add the chicken with the vinegar water. Stir for a while.
Add salt, cover and cook till chicken is done. ( No need to add water as the chicken pieces will release water ... but if you are using boneless pieces, you might need to).
Remove cover and check if chicken is tender. Do not overcook it ... it will turn tough.
Add the soy sauce ( remember, soy has salt ... so add accordingly ) and the sugar.
Cook for some more time ... or till desired consistency of gravy.
Goes great with rice or bread. I love to have it with crisp rotis too.
If you have any left over rice in the fridge, you can add it to this at the last part of cooking ( you will need to adjust the seasonings ) ..... make a great one pot meal too!
Enjoy all !! :-)
PS : Inspite of my repeated requests, my inbox is still being flooded with events & roundups announcements. So this is to declare that I've finally had to put all those mail ids through a sieve that will dump them into trash.