Crisp-Fried Chicken with Black Vinegar Glaze

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This dish uses multiple cooking methods, so get your master stock happening and you can cook the best crispy-skin chicken ever. For tables of six and under, cook a half bird, but if you are serving a table of eight or more, cook the whole chicken. Even though I would cook this whole in the restaurant, I would suggest you still cook it in two halves as it is easier to cut up once out of the fryer. If you are just using one half, keep the other to make a delicious sandwich or use in a salad or stir-fry.

Ingredients

  • ½ master-stock chicken
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 long green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

Black Vinegar Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) fresh chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar

Method

To make the glaze, put the sugar and shaoxing in a pot and bring to the boil, then add the chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and Chinkiang and return to the boil, then remove from the heat. Taste the sauce for balance and consistency.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the chicken until crispy and heated through, about 8 minutes. Drain well. Chop the chicken Chinese-style, pour the glaze over the top and sprinkle with chillies, coriander, garlic and ginger.

Variation

The ginger and spring onion sauce used on the whole snapper is really good with this chicken as well. I also like to cut this Chinese-style and serve it with lemon wedges and Sichuan salt and pepper.