An Indian recipe with some influence from the Chinese cuisine! Considering its name – dragon chicken, it is a bit on the spicier side. This is yet another Indo-Chinese recipe with a lot of flavors involved right from marinating the chicken to preparing the sauce.
So, most of you might say that dragon chicken is just another fancy name for chili chicken. But no, dragon chicken has more complicated and deep flavors because of the use of other different ingredients that are not used in chili chicken.
To point out one main difference, we use lots of cashews in making dragon chicken. So, as I said earlier, it is an Indian recipe mainly with some Chinese flavors too! Yeah, it is a bit spicy because of the freshly prepared red chili paste. But you can always alter the amount of spiciness as per your taste. You can also use Kashmiri chilies just to give the color and flavor whilst reducing the spice levels.
The way we cut chicken for dragon chicken is also different from chili chicken. For this, the chicken is cut into strips and not cubes. Oh yeah, about cutting the chicken – always remember to cut the chicken along the grain to ensure that the chicken is tender even after frying them in high heat. Also, I have used chicken breast piece here, but feel free to use thigh pieces too! Remember to cut any portion to strips only.
We marinate the chicken and fry them in hot oil once. But, if you want crispier chicken pieces then, fry them twice by increasing the heat on the oil for the second time and frying the chicken pieces only for a very brief period of time.
Whenever we plan to make some Chinese recipes for dinner or lunch we always tend to pick chili chicken or chicken Manchurian (in non-vegetarian) to go with as a side dish. So, this dragon chicken can be made on those monotonous days to spice up your meal. Not just by the taste, even the name spices things up.
I mean, how cool is the name dragon chicken?! There are days where we all crave for something tasty, spicy and just easy to prepare too. So, for those days, dragon chicken will be our life saver. Yeah, even we can get a break from the usual side dishes that we prepare for fried rice or even noodles.
Apart from the very cool name and the most appetizing bright red appearance, this is very tasty too! Especially because of the sauce and of course, it is also because of the little bit of crunchiness that we feel here and there because of the fried cashews. These little things are how this dish has got the Indian influence on it.
So, this dragon chicken goes great with egg fried rice, or even normal fried rice. Oh yeah, they taste awesome with fried noodles too! Hell – they even can be had as an appetizer! But believe me, if you have it as a starter, then you will not move on to main dish at all! Any way you eat them, the taste is going to linger around for a longer period of time making you crave more. SO BEWARE! Lol! :p
Have this amazingly tasty dragon chicken for a weekend lunch or dinner with your loved ones! Let the dragons rule your taste buds! Just kidding people! Do not think that dragon chicken has dragons in them! Lol! Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!
Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.
- 300 boneless chicken, cut into strips
To marinate the chicken
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp red chili paste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chili paste
- 3 tsp corn flour
- 1 whole egg
- salt, as required
To make red chili paste
- 6-8 dry red chilies
To prepare the sauce
- 3-4 dry red chilies
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 8-10 cashews, split
- 1/2 medium capsicum, cut into juliennes
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into slices
- handful of chopped spring onion whites
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic-green chili paste
- 2 tsp soya sauce
- 1 tsp red chili sauce
- 1 tsp green chili sauce
- 2 tsp red chili paste
- 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
- salt, as required
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Spring onion green, to garnish
- 2 tbsp oil + for frying the chicken
- To prepare the red chili paste, soak the red chilies in warm water for 20 minutes.
- Grind the red chilies with little water to a smooth paste and set aside.
- Cut the chicken into strips.
- Except corn flour and egg, marinate the chicken with all the ingredients listed under 'To marinate the chicken' and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Just before frying, add the cornflour and the egg and mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan on to fry the chicken.
- When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in batches to fry them until golden-brown on all sides.. Drain the chicken onto a plate and set it aside.
- In another pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped garlic, cashews and red chilies and fry them.
- Add ginger-garlic-green chili paste, onions, capsicum and chopped spring onion whites and saute them on a medium flame.
- Add the red chili sauce, green chili sauce, soya sauce, red chili paste and the required salt.
- Add the tomato ketchup to the pan along with the sugar and mix well.
- Mix all the sauces well and let the sauce thicken a bit.
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the sauce and mix well until the sauce coats all the chicken pieces evenly.
- Garnish with chopped spring onion greens and mix well.
- Serve hot as an appetizer or as a side dish.
- While cutting
- Make sure to fry the chicken on medium heat to avoid burning.
- If you want the chicken pieces to be crispier, then fry the chicken briefly for the second time on high heat.
- Do not burn the garlic, cashews and red chilies while frying them.
- Sprinkle just a little water if the sauce is too thick.
- Add the chicken to the sauce just before serving.
- If you are using light soya sauce then add a bit more than the amount specified.