Yield: 2 Servings
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it promptly with the slotted spoon to the heated serving dish. Move quickly, lest the chicken overcook in the liquid. Add the vinegar to the simmering sauce, stir, then taste for a good balance of sharp & sweet. True to Hunan taste, it should be on the sharp side. Lower the heat, stir the cornstarch mixture to recombine, then add it to the pan, stirring until the sauce thickens & becomes glossy, 5-10 seconds.
Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken & sprinkle the sesame oil on top.
Serve immediately, while pungent & aromatic.
Serves 2 as a main course, 3-5 as part of a multicourse meal.
Menu suggestions: Barbara Tropp loves this dish on its own for a simple supper, with silver & gold thread rolls or a bowlful of everyday chinese rice to soak up the sauce, and in season some cold-tossed asparagus w.
sesame seeds to munch on between mouthfuls. To drink, try a white Burgundy, Meursault, Pouilly-Fuisse, or an oaky (as opposed to fruity) California Chardonnay.
Iintroductory notes by Barbara Tropp: Tung-An is a county in Hunan, and this dish has all the beauty of refined Hunan cuisine: it is pungent yet subtle, complexly flavored without masking the primary good taste of chicken. It is an easy dish to turn out, perfect for the beginning cook, and a paradise for lovers of pungent, saucy stir-frys. The original version calls for a whole young chicken & fresh red chile threads. I find whole breasts & dreid red chile flakes far easier to use, and I make up for the visual loss by adding plush strips of black mushrooms. The breasts must be from small young chickens for the dish to be good.
The chicken may be cooked a day in advance. The rest of the dish can be assembled & cooked within 30 minutes.
Technique notes: Par-boiling the chicken gives it a supple texture and a strikingly clean taste. It also means that the dark sauce will slide off the chicken, leaving it a lovely ivory-white. Adding the vinegar to the sauce last keeps its zing intact. It is neither boiled off nor compromised by the flavor of the other ingredients.
NOTES : MC formatted by Holly Butman Recipe by: Barbara Tropp, The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #773 by Holly Butman <butma001@...> on Sep 06, 1997