Chilli Chicken

You can't keep a Bong away from his food. And when it comes to Chinese he would swear by Mixed Hakka Noodles (which he would call Mix Chow)  and Chilli Chicken or Mixed Fried Rice and Sweet and Sour Chicken. I have inhabited the planet for close to three decades now and hardly have I seen a Bong waver from his "can-eat-till-I-breathe-my-last" menu. No surprises then that as a Bong and as I cook and most importantly as a lover of any cuisine Oriental, a Chilli Chicken had to be in the offing.
My Chilli Chicken, like my Chilli Honey Chicken, is quite an "acclaimed" dish which my family, friends and relatives enjoy to the hilt. Because yes, most of them are get the rest! I even made this for Cookie's food festival (read about it here and here) and it sold like hot cakes.
Okay, enough of self-patting on the back. Time to get to the recipe.
But before it, let me share a tiny story about this Chilli Chicken that I suddenly remembered. While in college, I think I took this dish once for lunch. Having tasted it, a friend of mine asked for the recipe. I don't recall exactly whether I wrote it down or dictated it to her over the phone. But I did share it with her all the same. Now the next day when I saw her in class (or may be the canteen, which I think is more likely :P), obviously I went up to her and asked how it turned out. She said, "It was otherwise amazing, but somehow tasted very bitter, not like yours." I sensed she must have goofed up somewhere and asked the most obvious question, "How much soy sauce did you add?" She said very nonchalantly, "About half a cup." I was in splits. The fact that she could eat it after that and categorised it as "otherwise perfect but slightly bitter" amazes me to death. Or may be she just said it because she thought I might feel bad!
I don't know whether she tried this recipe again or not, but one disclaimer before you try it. Spare that poor bottle of soy sauce. Pour as much required into a separate bowl or measure out in spoons and add it to the chicken. Do not pour it straight from the bottle. If my friend's story doesn't convince you, learn from my mistakes.
Serves: 5-6


Chicken, boneless, cut into small pieces: 1 kg (for this particular occasion I used ones with bone as that is what I had in the fridge)
Oil: 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp (for shallow frying)
Rice wine vinegar: 11/2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup: 4-5 tbsp
Chilli Garlic sauce: 2 tsp
Onion, diced: 2-3
Capsicum, cut into strips: 2 medium
Green Chillis, slit lengthwise: 3
Ginger: 1 tsp
Garlic: 2 tsp
Cornflour: 1 tsp (mixed with a little bit of water)
Salt, to taste
Sugar (optional), to balance taste

For marination:

Rice wine vinegar: 1 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp
Tomato ketchup: 3 tbsp
Chilli Garlic sauce: 1 tsp
Ginger: 1 tsp
Garlic: 1 tsp
Cornflour: 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp


1. Marinade the chicken pieces and keep in the refrigerator for 4 hours at least or overnight.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces in batches till cooked. Add more oil if required. Set aside. Keep the marination juice.

3. In the same oil add onions and cook till translucent. Add ginger and garlic and after 30 seconds add capsicum and green chiilis. Cook on medium flame till everything has softened.

4. Add the fried chicken pieces along with the juice of the marinade and stir. Add vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, chilli garlic sauce, salt and sugar. Mix well and check for taste and add anything in accordance.

5. If you don't want it completely dry, add the cornflour with half a cup of water. Close lid and let it bubble away for some time till the gravy reduces. Turn off gas once you reach the desired consistency. I like mine with a sticky coating of gravy just enough to mix my rice or noodles with.

6. Devour as as starter or like a true blue Bong serve with Chow or Fried Rice


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