Crispy Golden Sesame Chicken

For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast; cut into 1-inch chunks

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger; minced
  • 1 tsp. chili paste
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. water

For Coating & Frying:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 1/2  cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 qts. vegetable oil- for frying
  • White Sesame seeds, to garnish
  • Scallions, sliced, to garnish

For the marinade, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined and transfer to a large plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat evenly. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, but longer (like overnight!)  is better! While the chicken is in the marinade, prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, heat the sesame oil and vegetable oil in a medium pot over high heat until shimmering. Remove from heat and sauté the garlic, ginger and chili paste until fragrant (about 2 minutes), in the unheated pot. Set aside, and prepare chicken for coating by removing each piece from the marinade carefully and blotting on a paper towel. Place used marinade in the sauce pot with sautéed ginger and garlic. Make a slurry by combining the 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with the water in a small dish until no lumps remain. Drizzle the slurry into the marinade pot while whisking. Bring sauce to a boil, and allow it to thicken completely. Boiling the marinade eliminates any possible contamination from the raw chicken. Simmer until the sauce is dark and well thickened and then set aside for later.

For the coating, whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish until foamy soft peaks form; set aside. Combine the cornstarch, flour, baking soda, and a small amount of the thickened sauce in a second shallow dish and mix using a fork until it resembles coarse meal.  Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat until the oil registers 350 degrees F. While the oil is heating, prepare the chicken for frying. Toss half the chicken into the foamy egg whites until well coated, then dredge the chicken in the cornstarch mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer the coated chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. To fry and finish, cook about 1/4 of the chicken in the oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning each piece halfway through cooking. Transfer the cooked chicken onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Return the oil to 350 degrees before repeating with the remaining chicken. Warm the sauce over medium heat until simmering. Turn off the heat and add the fried chicken pieces to the pot,  tossing to coat and serve  sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.