The Spring has arrived this year in India like a helpless punctual student who has no way but only to follow the schedules. More we approach the summer more we shift towards consuming lesser spicy dishes to keep the stomach steady. This weekend it was just the indication of the upcoming heat wave but still not the start of it. I felt it’s ideal time to cook a delicacy which is neither too hot nor to sweet and hence this take on the Honey Chicken. Honey Chicken is not an innovative dish as such but the way I cooked it is definitely something different and new.
The magic is in the marinade
Take around 400 gram of chicken (breast) and cut it into small cubes of 2-3 inches. Drain the water to make it dry and then add pinches of black pepper powder, salt, 1 tbsp of sugar, dashes of rice vinegar, 2 egg whites, 4 tbsp of cornflour, 1 tbsp of sunflower oil and 2 tbsp of Red Chilli Paste. Wait a second, this Red Chilli Paste is not just a paste but a special one – take 2 tbsp of olive oil and put 7 big fresh red chillies (chillies should be already kept soaked in plain water for some time) in a mortar and smash it with the pestle until the chillies combined with the oil makes a reddish oily paste with the fragmented red skins of the chillies still intact (cutting the chillies into small pieces before putting into the mortar can be helpful). Mix well to cover the chicken pieces as uniformly as possible but be cautious about the hand as it may burn due to the red chilli; spoon can be wiser option. Once mixed, cover the bowl with a lid or a cellophane paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
More magic while cooking
Heat up the wok and take enough sunflower oil to deep fry the marinated chicken. Once deep fried keep the chicken aside and soak the oil with paper towel. Take fresh 2 tbsp of sunflower oil in the wok and half tsp of roasted chilli oil into the wok. Now add 2 tbsp of chopped garlic into the wok once the oil is heated up. Once the garlic turns light brownish, add 1 tbsp of light soy sauce into it. Then add half of a fresh green capsicum cut into medium square pieces. Stir fry quickly and then add 6 tbsp of tomato sauce. Stir fry to mix well and then add the deep fried chicken pieces into the wok. Stir fry so that the sauce mixes well with the chicken. Add salt to taste and then finally add 10 tbsp of honey. Mix well on high heat. Now reduce the heat to low and add 2 tbsp of cornflower mixed with a cup of water. Mix well and turn the heat high again. Finish with half tsp of roasted sesame oil.
And it’s ready
Dish out and serve hot immediately. This goes best with any egg noodles or rice vermicelli (Mein Fun) or fried rice with mild flavour because staples with rich flavour may supress the magical flavour of the chicken.