I am not keen on fruit or sweet flavours added to savoury meals. I find the ‘sweet and sour’ dishes confusing, I taste sweet, no sour. Or both ARGH! I have never enjoyed lemon chicken, or mango chicken, or sultanas in curries, my palate gets confused by the contrast of squishy fruit against the savoury meat flavour.
One exception to this rule however is honey chicken. This is an all time favourite of mine, up there with Mongolian or sizzling lamb. When I order takeout Chinese, honey chicken is first dish on the list. I will lean over and swipe a piece off your plate if you’re not looking, I love it that much! I guess honey isn’t a fruit so I’m not really breaking my own rule here even though it’s deadly sweet on savoury.
As with my previous posts of sesame chicken and Mongolian lamb I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this dish, but do you really care? I don’t. It tastes damn good and that’s all I need to know. I’m sure once you try it you won’t mind either. Unless of course you’re a fully qualified chef of Chinese cuisine then I suppose you might. And in that case I’d welcome some tips.
Most Chinese chicken dishes call for chicken breast. I am not entirely sure why but I have always preferred chicken thigh. If you prefer chicken breast then go ahead and use it.
Ingredients (serves 4):
500g skinless boneless chicken thigh, diced into 1 inch cubes
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 inch ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, diced
Sesame seeds and sliced spring onion for garnish
1 egg white, whisked
4 tbsp cornflour
¼ cup plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ cup cold water
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp Shaoxing
½ cup water
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
Combine marinade ingredients well in a bowl. Add chicken to bowl, coat well with marinade then place into fridge for 30 minutes.
Combine sauce ingredients.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken pieces with tongs (don’t pour the marinade in or your chicken pieces will stick together) and fry until golden in colour and cooked through, turning halfway. Remove chicken from wok and set aside. I cook mine in two batches so the wok isn’t overcrowded and all sides of chicken are nice and golden, adding another 2 tbsp oil for the second batch.
Retain about 1 tablespoon of the leftover marinade, add to sauce.
Add garlic and ginger to wok, fry until aromatic. Add sauce and stir until thickens, only takes a few minutes. Add chicken to sauce and combine well.
Serve chicken with freshly steamed jasmine rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and spring onion.
A healthier alternative to takeout honey chicken that can be made at home. No need to pinch any of anyone’s plate either.