As I stated in a previous post, my son needed to master the art of cutting down a chicken for one of his culinary finals. My best guess is we’re down to about 15 lbs of chicken. Which is mostly thighs and drums, seeing as other than he and I, no one else will eat them.
We try not to make it a habit of making food healthier, but sometimes it just accidentally happens. Such was the case with this recipe. Instead of double deep frying the chicken like most recipes we simply grilled it. And in this case I might add it not only made it healthier, but better. Instead of tough nuggets of deep fried chicken where you only taste the frying oil, here, you actually get to taste the chicken, and enjoy the tenderness. Well that is if you grill it correctly. We all know you will.
What to expect:
Soft tender chicken, with deep, sweet Asian flavors. The peppers will bring a slight heat to the dish, but we found the true flavor of the dish came out if you ate the peppers. Those with a weaker sense to spicy foods will be fine if they just push the peppers aside or give them to another chili head.
Yield: 4 servings.
What you’ll need:
About an hour of time.
Grill set up for direct grilling, hot.
7-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Vegetable oil for oiling the grill
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 green onions coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Dried whole red chilies (We just tossed in a handful, use whatever you’re comfortable with.)
2 strips orange zest
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
How to do it:
Rinse chicken thighs under cold running water.
Season both sides well with salt and pepper.
Let rest while your grill comes up to temperature.
Grill over direct heat. About 3 minutes for each side. If it’s slightly under done that’s fine, it will cook more when you stir it into the sauce.
When done remove chicken from the grill and let rest a few minutes. When cool enough to handle cut into 1/2 inch dice. Set aside.
At this point I would recommend combining the 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger in a bowl and setting aside.
Also combine, 3 tablespoons chicken broth, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Set this aside also for now.
By combining these now, it will make it easier later.
Place a cast iron skillet over the hot coals and add the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Once it begins to shimmer and you see small bubbles add the green onion, garlic, whole chilies, and orange zest.
Cook, stirring until the garlic browns lightly and the peppers become a brighter red.
Now add the 3 tablespoons chicken broth, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 2 tablespoons peanut oil. As well as the 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
While it’s cooking disolve the 2 teaspoons cornstarch into the 1/4 cup water.
After it’s cooked for the 3 minutes add the cornstarch and water mixture.
Stir and cook until it’s no longer cloudy.
Add chicken and continue to cook until it becomes thick and the chicken has absorbed some of the sauce.
Plate and serve with rice.
Enjoy, and remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.