Indian-Style Chile Chicken

I recently competed in a Chinese cooking competition that was broadcast internationally live from Times Square in New York City. The sheer ethnic display of this event, the flaming woks, and the gaze of the huge crowd not only inspired me, but drove me to delve further into this compelling cuisine. I and a host of other ''celebrity'' chefs were challenged to make a traditional version of a Chinese staple, Kung Pao Chicken, within a very short time frame—a pressure cooker indeed! As much as I enjoyed the process and ultimately the dish, I craved the addition of a couple of Indian spices. Indo-Chinese is enjoyed by many Indians, and I hope you enjoy one of my favorites in this genre.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Chicken:

2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons vinegar

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 egg

Oil for deep-frying

Vegetables and Sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 small red onions, sliced

2 green onions, chopped

1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

5 or 6 serrano chiles, chopped

1 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

2 cups chicken broth or water

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Chopped green onion tops, for garnish

Directions

  1. For the chicken, combine the chicken, red chili powder, white pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, garlic-ginger paste and salt in a bowl and mix well. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cornstarch and egg and mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet or deep-fryer to 325 degrees F. Fry the chicken until golden brown.
  2. For the vegetables and sauce, heat the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the red onions, green onions, ginger, garlic, chiles and bell pepper. Saute for a few seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, red chili powder, salt, white pepper, soy sauce and ketchup and mix well. Add the fried chicken. Cook, stirring, until chicken is coated with the sauce.
  3. Combine the cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and mix well. Add to the sauce, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with green onion tops.
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