Character Building

As my quest to advance my culinary abilities continues I find I have begun to use and like cuts of meat which I might have overlooked before. I use to like to eat chicken breasts, and by chicken breasts I mean the boneless/skinless version.  As my culinary abilities continue to improve I have found my taste buds have also seemed to advance.  I was never one for dark meat but in this next recipe I use chicken thighs and the result was so tasty I can’t how I overlooked this cut of meat!

The recipe comes from:

The recipe tagged was for Thai Chicken Karaage, which the cookbook describes as Chicken Nuggets with Character, I like that!

To start I made the sauce/marinade. I mixed fish sauce with vinegar, sugar, garlic (a whole head!!) and chopped Thai chiles.  When the sugar was dissolved I removed half a cup and saved that in the refrigerator until later.  I took the remaining marinade and mixed in sriracha sauce.

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Then I placed chopped pieces of boneless skinless chicken thighs in the marinade. I coated all sides and then covered and refrigerated for 24 hours.

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The next day I removed the chicken from the marinade.

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Then I tossed the chicken in cornstarch.

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The chicken went into my mini deep fryer, in batches, for around 5 minutes.

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I placed the cooked chicken on paper towels to let the excess oil soak up on a paper towel. I put paper towels a cooking rack inside a baking sheet.  I placed this whole contraption in a warm oven to keep the cooked chicken warm while frying the remaining batches of chicken.

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When all the chicken was cooked I tossed the chicken with sliced onion and jalapeno. Then I seasoned with salt and gently tossed with the reserved sauce.  I topped with a medley of chopped mint, basil and cilantro.

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So how did it taste? Amazing!  I was honestly kind of hoping this one wasn’t going to be so good, only because it can be a lot work to plan marinating the day before and whenever the mini deep fryer is used it makes cleaning up later a larger task.  But the flavor!!!  The nuggets were juicy with a tangy spice.  The recipe was supposed to feed 4-6…well Matt and I ate ALL of it on our own.  Despite the work I will be making these again!

Chicken Nuggets with Character
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fish sauce
  2. 1 cup white vinegar
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 small head of garlic, peeled and minced
  5. 4 Thai chiles, chopped
  6. 1 cup sriracha sauce
  7. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 4 of 5 piece chunks each
  8. Vegetable oil, for deep fryer
  9. ½ cup cornstarch
  10. A few thin slices of white onion
  11. ½ jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  12. Salt, to taste
  13. 1/3 cup total of mint leaves, basil leaves and cilantro leaves, all roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and chiles until sugar is dissolved. Remove ½ cup of the sauce, cover and refrigerate. Add sriracha to the remaining sauce. Stir to combine and place chicken in the bowl, coating all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Add oil to deep fryer and heat to 350 F. Remove reserved half cup of sauce from the refrigerator and let it warm to room temperature.
  3. Place cornstarch in a large bowl. Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch. Remove the chicken shaking off excess cornstarch.
  4. Put chicken in deep fryer in batches. Fry each batch for 5 minutes or until breading is a rich golden brown color. Put cooked chicken a paper towel to soak up any extra oil and fry additional batches of chicken.
  5. Gently toss cooked chicken with onions, jalapenos and reserved sauce. Season with salt and top with the herbs.
Adapted from The Truck Food Cookbook
Adapted from The Truck Food Cookbook
Cooking with Rosemary http://www.cookingwithrosemary.com/