I love Asian inspired foods. . . well. . . I love some of those Chicken and rice and stir fried vegetable foods. Sweet and Sour Chicken, or Orange Chicken are two of my favorites. But when making it homemade, or making it at home, getting the chicken and the breading on the chicken just right is nearly impossible.
I’ve breaded chicken with crumbs and flour and cornstarch, dipped it first in oil, in egg, in water, fried and baked it. . . but I haven’t been able to get a good breading. One that you bite into it and it has some crunch, or even one that can hold up to the sauce I coat it in. I’ve finally found a recipe that works for me. It’s amazing! Even better, the leftover chicken crisps up very nicely in the toaster oven. I should warn you that it is fried, so if you have a problem with frying food, this isn’t going to be the recipe for you.
This recipe goes very well with store bought or homemade orange chicken sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or my Salsa Chicken recipe. I found the idea from Kitchen Simplicity and her very delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken Balls. Oh and best thing: the kids love it!
The ingredients are very simple: eggs, flour, cornstarch, and water. Oh and chicken! I also like to add in salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. The chicken breading is very bland, designed to go well with a sauce. If you want it to stand alone, you’ll definitely need to be generous with the seasoning.
The process is simple but can take a while to fry up the chicken. I diced my slightly frozen raw chicken into bite sided cubes and set aside. I often do things out of order, so it’s helpful when I remember to prep the chicken first.
To make the breading I mixed the cornstarch, flour and seasonings. Then I made a well in the center and cracked in two eggs. Added the water and mixed that sucker until it was smooth. It will be about the consistency of pancake batter, so add more (or less) water as needed.
Then I add the chicken and stir, coating the chicken bits. This is a picture from the first time I made it (with 3 eggs), the second time I used less eggs and more cornstarch, so it coated the chicken a bit better.
At this point I realised I should probably have been heating the oil. No I have no clue to what temperature. I use good old fashioned Crisco (please I don’t need comments about how terrible it is for my health–I’m frying the chicken, we can’t get around that and other oils like canola have a smoke point that is lower than I like. . . considering I always smoke myself out of the kitchen when I use it). You probably need about a half inch to an inch of oil. Those who are more experienced in frying could probably tell you better. But it is nice when the chicken kinda floats in the oil. If it touched/sticks to the bottom it tends to burn there.
Once I think the oil might be hot enough, I take a piece of chicken and carefully place it in. Beware of splash and also aware of bubbling. I’ve noticed this recipe seems to have a bit more oil splatter issues. So, probably not one to do with the kids helping. You can get a good number in the oil, but try not to have them too close or their stick together.
I cooked it about 3 or 4 minuted on one side before turning them. Use your common sense though, you’ll notice when the breading starts to get golden and looks ready to flip. I cooked it a couple more minutes until done. And please check the chicken to make sure it is done. I usually grab the largest piece of the batch and cut it open to see if the chicken is cooked through. We don’t need food poisoning issues.
I use a slotted spoon or whatever I happen to have clean and on hand, to scoop out the chicken and let it drain onto some paper towels.
Voila! I usually make them ahead of time during the day, the bake them in the oven or toaster oven to crisp them up. It’s always a hassle to try to fry stuff around dinner time, especially because the kids are around and want to help. I don’t mind them helping, but oil burns are something that terrify me a little bit. If they want to help with donuts, we’ll try then- it’s not as bubbly as this recipe tends to be.
Here’s a picture of my sweet and sour chicken. Gosh, I’m getting hungry already. It may not be the prettiest but oh it was delish!
Asian Breaded Chicken Bites
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- seasonings to taste (optional: cayenne pepper, pepper, garlic, onion powder, etc)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup water
- 1 lb of chicken (or about 3 medium/large chicken breasts)
- oil for frying
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add eggs and water. Mix until smooth.
- Add chicken pieces and stir to coat.
- Drop chicken in preheated oil (about 375 degrees) one at a time. Cook in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the chicken.
- Turn after about 3-5 minutes, and cook until chicken is done and breading is a light golden color.
- Move to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
A couple notes:
Don’t pour hot oil down the drain, or any oil down the drain, especially shortening which solidifies at room temp. I usually save an extra crisco container or some other jar around the house and pour the oil into that after it cooled down.
You can freeze the chicken for later! Once the chicken is completely cooled, put in a freezer bag and toss in the freezer. That simple. To then cook it from frozen bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until crisp and heated through.