- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1 large taro, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices and steamed soft (about 20 to 25 minutes)
- 1/4 cup Virginia (Smithfield) ham, julienned
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 cup duck fat or lard
- Cornstarch, for coating
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 large chicken breasts (with drumette attached), slightly pounded out
Preheat fryer to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, pour the boiling water with the cornstarch and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the taro and mash in well, but do not over mix to a smooth puree. Add the ham, scallions, lard and season. Check for seasoning. Season the chicken and place skin side down. Pat on a 1/2-inch layer of taro on the meat side. Coat both sides with cornstarch and fry until golden brown and the chicken is done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season lightly and drain on paper towels. Cut each breast in half on the bias.
Tropical Sweet and Sour Sauce:
- Canola oil, for cooking
- 1 red onion, 1/4-inch slices
- 1 medium carrot, 1/4-inch bias slices
- 4 cloves garlic, 1/16-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 serrano chiles, minced
- 1 small pineapple, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large mango, 1/2-inch dice
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt and black pepper
In a large saucepan coated lightly with oil on medium heat, saute the onions, carrot, garlic, ginger, and chiles. Stir and season. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pineapple, mango and citrus juices/zest. Bring to a boil and simmer for a 20 percent reduction, about 15 minutes. Check for seasoning.