All of you who grew in India in the 80’s would swear to eat or crave this chicken dish every other day.Atleast I did! The best about this dish is that the recipe is so quick that it can make its way to your tummy within minutes.The other day when I felt ultra lethargic,I made a quick chilli chicken & steamed rice.
When I say CHILLI chicken,I mean lots and lots of chillies..of all kinds…whole red chillies, black pepper and red chilli powder..Okay dont be scared..this is not some deadly chicken preparation..it is just a really hot chicken recipe.Succulent pieces of chicken in a spicy sauce with onions and dry red chillies.If they say, heaven exists on earth,a bowl of chilli chicken personifies it in some crude distant form! Though I never actually asked Mom the recipe,and only saw her making it while chatting beside the stove,I still prepare it recounting those times and the lingering tastes from childhood.I normally refrain from deep-frying the chicken pieces and settle for shallow frying.A handful of red or green capsicum tastes very good, but P is not a great fan, so though I didn’t use it I m noting down!
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ pieces [even bone in chicken can be used too]
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1.25 cups sliced red onions [the more onions, the better]
- 3-4 pods garlic,crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger julians
- 12-15 whole dry red chillies, broken into 2-3 smaller pieces (adjust to taste, use less quantity or milder variety)
- 2-3 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 2 tbsp white vinegar (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp hot & sweet tomato chili sauce (I use this brand)
- 1.5 tsp – 2 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 cup diced bell peppers
- 3/4 tsp crushed black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Few chopped green chillies
- 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp canola oil
- The dish taste much better when you deep fry the chicken as opposed to shallow frying it.
- Pat the chicken pieces dry with a paper towel.Sprinkle the chicken with cornstarch, all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper and combine well.Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a wide-mouthed pan, heat the 3 tbsp oil to the smoking point.When the oil is hot, tip in the chicken pieces and saute in oil till they become white on the outside and slightly tender.About 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken pieces and drain on a paper towel.
- In the same pan, add the 1 tbsp oil and on high heat add the crushed garlic and ginger julians.Saute for 2 minutes and add the sliced onions.Saute the onions till they are soft and translucent but not brown.
- Next, add the whole red chillies,chicken,soya sauce, hot & sweet tomato chili sauce, salt and red chilli powder to the pan and cook on high heat till the chicken pieces are tender.About 8-10 minutes.Add the diced capsicum now (if using).
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from heat and add the vinegar.
- Transfer to a bowl and garnish with few green chillies.
- Serve warm with steamed rice or chow mein/hakka noodles.