When Eric and I first met, I was an all white meat chicken kind of girl. Thankfully, I outgrew that phase and have since embraced something other than boneless, skinless chicken breasts. This is the first recipe I’ve made using chicken thighs, and I have to tell you: I’m sold. Eric has long loved them, so he’s pretty happy that I’ve reached the same conclusion. Thigh meat is so incredibly flavorful and tender. I’m not sure why I didn’t cook with it sooner, but I clearly should’ve listened to my friend Elly, who has mentioned several times her love of chicken thighs.
This recipe is a nicer version of standard takeout fare, but I promise you won’t be getting takeout anytime soon with this recipe in your arsenal. I know there’s probably nothing authentic about this dish, and I’m okay with that because it tastes fantastic. And while I certainly wouldn’t call it healthy, it’s definitely healthier than its takeout counterpart. Instead of being deep fried, the chicken is coated in a cornstarch mixture before being pan fried (similar to one I posted last year, but much tastier). The chicken gets crispy on the outside and stays tender and moist on the inside. Overall, the dish has a sweet-spicy flavor, with a punch of freshness from the ginger. If you like things spicier, you can always add extra Sriracha. We followed the recipe and paired this with rice and steamed broccoli, but I think it would also be fantastic with carrots or sugar snap peas mixed in.
- YIELD: 4 servings
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Steamed or roasted broccoli and cooked rice, for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, egg white, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and all but 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. Add chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth, chile-garlic sauce, sugar, remaining soy sauce and cornstarch. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Whisk the broth mixture, then add it to the pan. Cook about 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glossy. Reduce heat to low to keep sauce warm.
In a large, deep skillet, heat ½ inch of oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken carefully, one piece at a time. Cook chicken, turning once or twice until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then add to sauce. Stir in green onions. Serve immediately with broccoli and rice.