Walnut Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts are deep-fried and served with toasted walnuts in this recipe from northern China. Instead of using toasted walnuts, you can also deep-fry walnut halves. In addition, the walnuts can be added to the wok during the final stages of stir-frying.
3/4 pound chicken meat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 cloves garlic
1 green onion
2 tablespoons bean sauce
4 ounces toasted walnut halves
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Oil for deep-frying and stir-frying
Add the salt, rice wine or sherry and cornstarch to the chicken cubes, using cooking chopsticks to mix it in if you have them and adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.
Prepare the other ingredients while the chicken is marinating. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Finely chop the garlic. Chop the green onion on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
Heat the oil for deep-frying to between 360 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the chicken cubes. Deep-fry until the chicken cubes separate and turn white (1 to 2 minutes). Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. Drain the oil and clean out the wok.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the wok over medium-high to high heat. When the oil is hot, add the hot bean sauce. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
Add the chicken back into the wok. Stir-fry quickly for a minute, mixing the cubes with the bean sauce, then push it up to the sides of the pan. Add the sauce in the middle. Mix everything together. Stir in the green onion and the sesame oil.
To serve, place on a platter and garnish with the toasted walnuts.
Yield: 3-4 Servings