Monday, 4 May 2015

Spicy Taiwanese Chicken & Celery

Another great dish to cook if you have a bit of a glut of celery - this is from a reader recipe on Food 52: I’ve changed it slightly, mainly in upping the amount of chicken and sauce as, if I’m serving over a rice, I like it nice and saucy. As it turns out there wasn’t actually a massive amount of sauce even with me increasing those ingredients, but the rice was a welcome relief as my chilli seems to have been particularly hot and I didn’t deseed it.

If you can, use Chinese celery but I just used the usual stuff as I still had the inner stalks from the batch I’d bought for the braised over polenta dish I cooked recently, and that worked fine.

In fact I have to say this was delicious, surprisingly so as I thought it would be a bit boring. But beige as it may look (particularly with the brown rice), it really was rather good. I think this may be, in part, due to the rendered chicken fat.

Spicy Taiwanese Chicken & Celery
serves 2

200g (approx) inner celery sticks, trimmed, veins peeled off & sliced into 1 inch batons
3 skinless chicken thigh fillets (trimmed but fat reserved), sliced into thin pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, finely sliced (lengthways)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp potato flour

Combine all the ingredients bar the celery, chilli and chicken fat, in a bowl. Set aside to marinate for 30 mins.

Heat a wok over high heat. Add the chicken fat and render for 3 minutes (or until no more fat renders). Discard the solids and pour the rendered fat into a bowl, leaving approximately 1 tbsp in the wok.

Add the chicken to the wok, leaving as much sauce behind in the bowl as you can and stirfry, stirring constantly until the meat is almost done. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add another 2 tablespoons rendered fat to the wok and then add the celery. Saute for 2-3 mins then add the chillis and stir around for a minute. Add the chicken back in and the sauce still in the bowl then stir for another minute.

Serve immediately over rice.

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