Smokey hot chicken thighs stir fried with red chilli and garlic chives! I can’t resist this cheeky title. This is a sh*t hot recipe from one of my favourite Chinese chefs, Kylie Kwong. I have watched her on television a thousand times and identify with her very closely in many ways. She has grown up, an Asian in Australia, where she suffered feelings of being ‘different’ and is as aware of the look of her kitchen, restaurant and surrounds as she is of the need to balance those incredibly wonderful Chinese flavours.
My whole family love Chinese food and we often have a meal at Durban’s number one (in my book) Chinese restaurant, China Plate in Glenashley. I have cooked dozens of amazing dishes from Kylie’s beautiful cook book, My China. This book is not cluttered with Chow Meins or Foo Yongs, it’s jam packed with authentic recipes, the food that the Chinese people like to eat at home.
Once you start cooking from this book you soon realise what makes up the Chinese ‘Holy Trinity” of ingredients in most recipes. The three or four ingredients that start off every dish – in Italian cooking it’s the olive oil, garlic and onion which is tempered by dry white or red wine. In Chinese cooking it’s the peanut oil, garlic, ginger and chilli all tempered into submission and perfectly balanced by Shao Hsing rice wine. I find that I now have the confidence to buy a vegetable and make it the star of a great vegetarian Chinese dish served with egg or rice noodles!
Don’t be put off by the 10 small dried red chillies in this recipe as they are used only to flavour the peanut oil. The method used in this recipe of marinating the chicken thighs in corn flour and rice wine is masterful and it results in the most devine gooey texture that had my boys grinning from ear to ear.
Smokey Hot Chicken Thighs Stir-Fried with Dried Red Chillies
and Green Garlic Chives
Serves 4 – 6 as part of a shared meal.
I served the chicken with some fried noodles and comfortable fed 4 people.
Place oil and chillies in a cold wok and then turn the heat to low. Cook for about 1 ½ minutes or until chillies begin to darken slightly.
Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove chillies and drain on kitchen paper.
Leaving chilli-infused oil in wok, turn heat up to high and stir fry half the chicken thighs for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add extra oil to wok with remaining chicken and stir fry for 3 minutes. Return all the chicken to wok, along with ginger and reserved chillies, and stir fry for 1 minute.
I added in a cup of snow peas and a cup of diced cucumber at this point and stir fried for 3 minutes.
Add sugar and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Serve with a nice bowl of steamed Basmati rice or Noodles.