Crispy chicken-Gà Nhúng Bột Chiên Dòn

Vietnamese food

I am excited to share with you this perfect batter- crisp but tender after years of searching and I am sure you should be agreed too.  It belongs to Katie Chin’s late famous mother, Leeann Chin. The double frying technique help serving easy, everything can be prepared in advance and the fried chicken pieces just need to be deep fried the second time a few minutes before serving/eating.  She serves it with mango sauce. It is a good sauce but the canned coconut milk flavor dominated the mango.  I serve them with other sauces as lemon, plump, and blackberry sauce too.  Adjust the salt more or less depending on the breast weight. Chicken can be sliced in half or cut into smaller pieces about 2- finger size pieces.

Crispy Chicken 

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 large egg
2 tsp & 2 Tbs cornstarch, divided
1¼ tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground white  pepper (or black pepper)
1 tsp peeled & minced fresh ginger ( or grated frozen ginger)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
Oil for frying

  1. Slice chicken breast into 1/2 thickness as butterfly chicken, see instruction below .  
  2. In a large shallow bowl, beating egg and 1 tsp salt, ground pepper, 2 tsp cornstarch, and ginger.  Add chicken pieces to the bowl and turn to coat all sides.  Cover and set aside on the counter 30 minutes.  Drain the chicken pieces with a large/med drainer.  Save the marinade.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix the reserved marinade, water, oil, flour, 2 Tbs cornstarch, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. 
  4. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a deep fryer/electric skillet or deep skillet at to 350 oF.  Dip chicken pieces one by one into the batter to coat all sides. Lift it up and let excess drip off a little bit.  Careful add chicken pieces in one layer.  Do not overcrowd the pan.  Fry until light brown about 3-4 minutes, turning 2-3 times. Drain on a wire rack in a rimmed baking tray.  Raise the heat up to 375 oF and fry chicken pieces one more time until golden brown about 2-3 minutes, turning once.  Chicken pieces can stay at room temperature a few hour after the first frying and only need to be refried before serve.
  5. Pour extra batter into the hot oil about 1 tsp at a time. until golden brown. When they cool down, store in an air tight container or zip lock bag and use them as a snack or salad topping as crouton or bacon bit.  These stay crunchy a few days.
  6. Transfer the chicken pieces into a platter.  Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces about 1 inch for the large piece.  Reheat the sauce and serve it on the side or pour 1/2 on the chicken, keep 1/2 of the sauce on the side.

Mango Coconut Sauce

1 Tbs peanut oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth (canned or homemade)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pure mango
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs rice or white vinegar
2 Tbs cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbs water

  • Heat oil into a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and stir until light tan color and fragrant. Add all other ingredients except cornstarch, bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat down to medium and stir in cornstarch.  Cook and stir continuously until thicken.  Remove from heat, cover.
Cutting chicken

  • Put the chicken breast smooth side down on a cutting board.  Find the tender (small tender inlet) and remove it by cutting any connective tissue. 
  • Turn the smooth side up . Put the palm of  your no-dominate hand on the top and hold the chicken breast down steady.  Use a sharp knife with the edge of the knife parallel to the cutting board and the thick part of the breast toward the knife.  Find the middle and carefully slice the breast in half widthwise to the other edge.
  • Cover the chicken pieces with thin plastic layer or butcher paper.  Gently pound to flatten the thick part to even the thickness.  The chicken pieces can be cut further into half lengthwise or bite-size pieces.
  • Remember to wash the hands before and after touching raw meat.

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