Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Sweet Chili Fire Chicken

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How about making “take out” at home? I’m saying “why not”! Sometimes grabbing fast food once and a while is sometimes a necessity. Making delicious Chinese “take-out” dishes at home is even better. A few simple ingredients with a heavy bottom pot can make this dish a reality. This is my version of Sweet Chili Fire Chicken.

Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Snow Peas

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Olive Oil

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eggs

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, candy thermometer, spider, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red bell peppers, julienned
2 1/2 cups of canned pineapple chunks, drained
2 bottles of Thai sweet chili sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of snow peas, very thinly sliced on the bias
3 tablespoons of chives, finely minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

For The Chicken:
2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/2-inch size cubes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 cups of cornstarch
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:
Prep all the veggies first, having them on stand-by.  Using a meat cutting board, dice up all the chicken, tossing them into a bowl along with the salt and pepper.  Using tongs, make sure the salt and pepper are distributed evenly on the chicken. Grab the largest bowl you have or a large Tupperware container, making it easier to coat the diced chicken pieces. Next, add the flour and toss so that all the pieces are coated.

Preheat Vegetable oil to 360-degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, and using a candy thermometer, have the oil temperature reach 360-degrees F. The oil will take a little while to reach the perfect temperature for frying. Move on to sautéing the vegetables.

Add olive oil to the sauté pan. Over medium-high heat, add the veggies and minced garlic. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, cook until just soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks just to warm through. Turn the heat off.

Transfer the sautéed veggies and pineapple, from the sauté pan, to a large deep-sided skillet. This will be necessary for accommodating all the ingredients. Set the skillet to the back of the stove before starting the frying process.

In one large mixing bowl have the beaten eggs, in another large mixing bowl have the cornstarch. In small batches, dip the diced chicken into the eggs and then into the cornstarch shaking off any excess cornstarch. Place the finished coated chicken pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Check the temperature of the oil. Once the oil is ready, add the battered chicken in small batches, about 5 to 6  at a time, into the pot. Continue dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the cornstarch. Cook around 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, then transfer them onto a sheet pan lined with a paper towel. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are cooked.

Place the skillet over medium heat. Add in all the crispy golden pieces of chicken to the veggie and pineapple mixture. Pour in the bottles of the Thai sweet chili sauce and toss to combine. Simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once everything is hot, turn the heat off. Garnish with minced chives.

Serve immediately.

I like to serve my Sweet Chili Fire Chicken over a bed of Basmati rice.

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Side Dishes

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Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger

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Brown Sugar Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Fennel And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette

I have four side dishes here that are super easy to make and really delicious. Sautéed Spinach With Garlic, Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger, Brown Sugar Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Fennel, And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette.

Side Dishes can really compliment whatever entrée you may be serving. They can also echo those flavors to whatever protein you’re serving. I wanted to talk about a few really delicious sides and are no trouble to put together, yet still have that WOW factor.

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Olive Oil

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Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger

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Brown Sugar Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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On the left side is the brown sugar mixture for the sweet potatoes, and on the right side is my curry and ginger mixture for the organic baby carrots.

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Brown Sugar Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Fennel And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette

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Fennel and Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette

Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, chef’s knife, 3 small mixing bowls, whisk, mandolin, 12-inch sauté pan

Sautéed Spinach With Garlic
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
1 16-ounce bag of prewashed spinach
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Carrots
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients For Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger:
1 bunch (1 pound) of baby organic carrots with leafy tops
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of mild curry powder
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients For Brown Sugar Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Fennel And Tangelo Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients For Fennel And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette:
2 fennel bulbs, sliced thin
1/2 a red onion sliced thin
2 tangelos, *supreme, reserve the juice (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon of Agave nectar
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish

Directions For Sautéed Spinach With Garlic:
Start by mincing 3 garlic cloves. Next, add oil to a cold sauté pan. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan. On medium heat, bring the oil up to temperature and sauté the garlic for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the spinach leaves, to the pan, in batches. As soon as all the leaves have wilted down, 3 to 5 minutes, season with the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss through one more time until all the leaves are coated then turn off the heat. My Sautéed Spinach With Garlic is so flavorful, you just may change your mind on how you feel about spinach. Transfer the Sautéed Spinach With Garlic to a large serving bowl. Serve hot.

Directions For Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Start by trimming the tops of the carrots leaving around 2 inches intact. In a small bowl, add the mild curry powder, ground ginger, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.

Using two rimmed baking sheets pans, divide the carrots between the two pans. Drizzle the olive oil over all the carrots. Sprinkle the curry and ginger spice mixture over each of the carrots. Toss the carrots together allowing for the spices to coat the carrots really well. Place the pans in the center rack of the preheated oven. Roast for 20 minutes until fork tender. Transfer the Roasted Organic Baby Carrots With Curry And Ginger to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley.  Serve hot.

Directions For Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

Start by peeling two sweet potatoes. Slice in half and cut into large wedges. In a small bowl add brown sugar, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, whisk to combine.
Transfer the potato wedges to a rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzle the sweet potato wedges with olive oil. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over all the potato wedges. Toss really well to coat, then spreading them out into one even layer.

Place into the center rack of a preheated oven, roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through turn the sweet potato wedges over to caramelize on the other side, roast until fork tender. Transfer the Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes to a large serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.

Directions For Fennel And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette:

Start by using a mandolin to shave the fennel and red onion. Arrange the shaved fennel and red onion on a large serving platter. *Supreme two tangelos and place the segments on top.

In a small mixing bowl with the reserved tangelo juice, add Kosher salt, Agave nectar, fresh ground black pepper, and the *E.V.O.O., whisk to combine. Spoon the citrus vinaigrette over the Fennel And Tangelo Salad. Garnish with freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. My Fennel And Tangelo Salad With A Citrus Vinaigrette is light and refreshing.

*Supreme is a technique that removes the membrane from the citrus fruit so it can be served in slices/segments.

*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

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