Taro-Coated Chicken with Tropical Sweet and Sour Sauce

Total Time:
45 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
4 servings

Ingredients
  • 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
  • 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
Directions

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:

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.


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