Roll up your sleeves, focus in on your opponents, concentrate and go … Finger food at the Chinese dinner table is a little like the clash of the Titans: the first one to the plate is guaranteed a mouthful of happiness, and there’s no room for losers - no pain, no gain. Growing up as a child, my elder brother and I could take on the skill and speed of the Williams sisters when it came to a culinary tennis match. A plate of garlic chicken on the table can turn the most unlikely of athletes into gold medallists. Forget the chopsticks - get your hands in first and the prize is yours!
|2 tbsp||potato flour, or cornflour|
|Salt and ground white pepper|
|4||boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces|
|Groundnut oil, to shallow fry|
|4 cloves||of garlic, peeled and sliced|
|3||spring onions, cut into batons|
|2 tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry|
|1-2 tbsp||soy sauce|
|A pinch||of caster sugar|
You will need a wok.
Put the potato flour into a shallow bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Dust the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess, then set aside.
Heat a wok over a high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and shallow fry (in batches if necessary) for 3-4 minutes, or until golden and slightly crisp on the outside and cooked through in the middle. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, then set aside. Clean out the wok.
Add a dash of oil to the clean wok and heat over a medium to high heat. Add the garlic and spring onions and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is tender and aromatic. Add the Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, sugar and a pinch of pepper. Heat through and taste, adjusting the seasoning as necessary.
Put the chicken back into the pan and stir it into the sauce, mixing it well with the garlic and spring onions.
Taste, add a little more soy or seasoning if needed, and serve.