China Entreealmond chicken

Almond Chicken
(Serves 8)

A delicious marinated chicken served with vegetables in a seasoned sauce—then topped with oven-crisped almonds.

Chicken & Marinade
2 lb. chicken breasts (1" cubes)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T soy sauce
2 eggs whites

1 C vegetable oil (use more if needed)
8 slices fresh ginger root (1/8" thick)
1 bunch scallions (1" lengths)
1 green pepper (1" pieces)
1 C bamboo shoots (diced)

Seasoning Sauce
2 T rice vinegar or white vinegar
4 T soy sauce
2 T rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 C crisp almonds*

Chicken: combine chicken cubes with marinade ingredients and marinate for 30 minutes Heat oil in a large skillet or wok to 350. Add chicken, stir-frying for about 30 seconds, till lightly browned. Remove and drain. 

Vegetables: Discard all but 3 T oil from wok and reheat for 30 seconds. Add ginger slices, stir-frying for 30 seconds (just to season oil). Remove and discard ginger. Add next 3 vegetables, stir-frying for 1-2 minutes till crisp-tender.

Assembly: In a small bowl, mix last 6 ingredients (except for the almonds) and pour into wok. Bring to a boil and add chicken, mixing and coating. Add crisp almonds, mix and serve hot with steamed rice.

* Crisp Almonds
Heat 3 C oil to 375 and add blanched almond halves, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Let stand for 5 minutes. You can substitute cashew halves.

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Tips & Glossary

Many ingredients used in Chinese cooking probably aren’t in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Asian grocery stores. To avoid frustration, make a list of the items before trying recipes.

Agar Agar: dried seaweed used as a gelatin. Buy it in sticks (or strips) and soak in cold water to soften.

Chili Oil: buy it or make your own. For a recipe, see Hunan Chicken.

Chinese Cabbage: aka “Nappa”;long, white stalks with light green crinkly leaves.

Deep Frying: use a deep-fry thermometer to reach the recipe's correct temperature; if the oil isn't hot enough, the food will be soggy. When cool, the oil can be strained, refrigerated, and re-used.

Dried Shrimp: tiny, salted, sun-dried shrimp that add a pungent flavor to Asian cooking. Soak before using. 

Five-Spice Powder: blend of star anise, cinamon, cloves, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns. Like allspice.

Peppersalt: buy or make your own. Heat 2 T Szechuan peppercorns in skillet 5 min. Grind into powder and mix with 2 T salt.

Sauces: Hoisin (sweet, from soybeans); Oyster (like soy, from oysters); Sweet Bean (canned, salty, from soybeans); Hot Bean (hot & salty, from soybeans and peppers).

Sesame Paste: from gound sesame seeds; substitute with peanut butter.

Sweet Rice Powder: from glutinous rice; used in place of flour in many desserts.

Szechuan peppercorns: dried reddish berries, fragrant and mildly hot.


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