When it comes to savory chicken dishes, my family and I totally love chicken 65. The name sounds intriguing, huh? Well, the varied stories on how it came upon this identity are even more interesting — check out wikipedia when you have a moment.
In a nutshell, Chicken 65 is deep-fried chicken in a piquant sauce. The symphony of flavors come to life in just one mouthful, making them perfect little bites for a cocktail party, or an excellent snack. A spike of lemon right before serving adds a refreshing zest. Nothing overpowering, just the right balance, I would say. What more? There’s absolutely no difficulty in making this downright irresistible dish.
The first step is to choose the right piece of meat. Ideally, use boneless, skinless chicken. Cut the meat into bite size pieces to maximize the crunchy area. I have tried this dish with breast meat as well as the juicer thigh meat. Honestly, it made no difference. Nonetheless, I prefer eating breast meat to thigh meat. Don’t ask me why — I don’t know. A word of caution though: breast meat can easily dry out due to lack of internal fat. Coat the chicken in the marinade and let stand for a minimum of 1 hour to reduce this problem. Another tip for a successful recipe is to use salt in moderation, a little too much can spoil your efforts.
This recipe is adapted from VahRehVah.com. Ever since I came upon this website I’ve been a great fan of the celebrated chef and founder, Sanjay Thumma. His cooking videos are a great blessing. I follow his videos word by word, action by action, to recreate most of our restaurant favorites at home. The bonus? The videos are absolutely free!
Spiced, Deep-fried Chicken — Chicken 65
500g skinless, boneless chicken, diced
2 teaspoon corn flour
1 ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, divided
1 teaspoon pepper powder, divided
2 pinch ajinomoto, divided
salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, slit
10 fresh curry leaves
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
2 tablespoon chili garlic paste (found in oriental stores)
2 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for deep-frying
drop red color (optional)
¼ cup water
few coriander leaves, to garnish
squeeze of lemon, to serve
In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine chicken with corn flour, 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, salt to taste, pinch of ajinomoto, ½ teaspoon pepper powder and egg. Mix well to coat chicken and set aside to marinate for minimum 60 minutes.
Heat canola oil for deep-frying in a large wok over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook chicken until light golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remember not to crowd the pan to prevent the oil temperature from dropping. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove chicken. Let each batch drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Tip in cumin seeds, ginger, garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon each of pepper, chili, cumin and ginger-garlic paste. Then add curry leaves, pinch of ajinomoto, little salt and toss well. Stir in chili garlic paste and a drop of red color, if using. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Before adding chicken pour in ¼ cup water and stir well to combine. Tip in chicken pieces and toss well to coat. Simmer for 2 more minutes until the sauce is completely and evenly coating the chicken. Remove from heat and serve warm topped with coriander leaves and a drizzle of lemon.
Sit back and enjoy the compliments!
It's the weekend. I hope you have a lovely time with plenty of good food and wonderful company!