Crispy-Skinned Chilli Chicken2013-06-28
In Chinese culture, a whole chicken represents family unity, so share these juicy, tender pieces around – there’s plenty for everyone!
- 1.7kg whole chicken
- 80ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce
- 60ml (1/4 cup) dry sherry
- 1 tbs finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 long fresh red chilli, seeded, thinly sliced
- 125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbs soy sauce, extra
- 1 tbs caster sugar, extra
- Peanut oil, to deep-fry
- Thinly sliced shallots, to serve
Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken, breast-side down, on a work surface. Use sharp kitchen scissors to cut along either side of backbone. Discard backbone. Cut the breast in half along breastbone. Cut around the legs, between the thigh and breast. Cut drumsticks from thighs. Cut the wings from breasts. Cut each breast in half diagonally. Combine soy sauce, sherry, ginger and sugar in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add chicken. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to marinate.
Place a large bamboo steamer over a saucepan of simmering water. Drain the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken in the steamer and steam for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Store in the fridge, uncovered, until required.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic and chilli, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the stock, vinegar, extra soy sauce and extra sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Line a baking tray with paper towel. Add enough oil to a heavy-based saucepan to reach a depth of 10cm. Heat to 180°C over medium-high heat. Cook one-third of the chicken for 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the tray. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with remaining chicken. Place on a platter. Drizzle over chilli mixture and top with shallot.
Chicken tips: To ensure the chilli chicken has deliciously crispy skin, it’s best to store the chicken pieces, uncovered, in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. This allows the skin to dry out. To test the oil is ready for deep-frying, drop in a cube of bread – it should turn golden in 15 seconds. It’s best to deep-fry in batches – if the pan is overcrowded, the temperature will drop and the chicken skin won’t turn crisp.