Mango Coconut Chicken

Written by Katie Chin, The Sweet and Sour Chronicles

After spending several years living in the same city and having never run into my ex, I just wrote it off as an impossibility. But then it happened. I looked up from my son’s baseball game and there he stood. I said, “Hi, it’s Katie.” He looked at me blankly (I guess I was wearing sunglasses) and said, “hi?” Then I said, “It’s Katie CHIN.” He did a double take and said “OMG. Wow.” We realized our sons were on the same team (gasp) and politely sat down together and chatted about our lives and relived some of the fun memories we shared together. His wife showed up and you know what? She was open and lovely. He expressed how happy he was that I seemed so content and fulfilled in my life and I returned the sentiment. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty awkward for both of us but I left the field feeling so blessed for how I’ve grown and grateful that I had experienced a chapter of my life with him that contributed to the woman I am today. It just made me want to celebrate my family and count my blessings. Here is a great recipe to make when you just want to express love your family through food and to celebrate where life has taken you so far on your personal journey.

Ingredients

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 large egg

2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons all-purpose cornstarch, divided

1¼ teaspoons salt, divided

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons oil

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Oil for frying

MANGO COCONUT SAUCE

1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil

1 garlic clove, minced

¾ cup (185 ml) Basic Chicken Stock or store-bought

¾ cup (185 ml) coconut milk

¼ cup (65 ml) puréed mango

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

¼ cup (50 g) sugar

2 tablespoons rice or white vinegar

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken in half lengthwise and pound to flatten the thick part so the chicken is of consistent thickness. Place the chicken in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg, 2 teaspoons all-purpose cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper and the ginger. Pour the egg mixture over the chicken, turning the chicken to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Reserve the marinade.
  • Mango Coconut Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, puréed mango, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Stir in the all-purpose cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until thickened, about 10 seconds. Remove from heat.
  • In a shallow dish, mix the reserved marinade, flour, water, the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch, oil, baking soda, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • In a wok or deep skillet, heat 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) of the oil to 350°F. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the batter to coat all sides. Fry the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes, or until light brown, turning 2–3 times. Increase the oil temperature to 375°F (175°C). Fry the chicken pieces again until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes, and drain on a paper towel-lined sheet pan. Using a very sharp knife, cut each piece of chicken crosswise into ¾ inch (2 cm) pieces. Transfer the chicken pieces to a serving platter. Reheat the sauce over medium high heat and pour over the chicken. Serve immediately.

Chicken Chow Mein

Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin, For recipes, visit thesweetandsourchronicles.com

Happy New Year everyone! It is customary in Asian culture to eat noodles to celebrate the New Year and bring good luck and prosperity in the coming months. As I was going through my divorce I wanted to start the new year off with a clean slate more than ever before in my life. In fact, my friend suggested we build a bonfire and throw all of the objects carrying negativity from our past into the fire. Talk about a cleanse! Afterwards, I whipped up a bowl of my mother’s famous chow mein because it’s the ultimate comfort food for me and I was ready to welcome in all of the good luck and prosperity I could get. Please enjoy this recipe for Chicken Chow Mein!

Chicken Chow Mein

Ingredients

  • 6 medium dried black mushrooms
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into shreds
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Dash white pepper
  • 16 ounces bean sprouts
  • 4 ounces pea pods
  • 2 green onions (green and white parts), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Chinese egg noodles or linguini
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced canned bamboo shoots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Soak mushrooms in warm water until soft, about 30 minutes; drain. Rinse in warm water; drain. Remove and discard steams; cut caps into thin slices. Toss together the shredded chicken, 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, the soy sauce and white pepper in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse bean sprouts in cold water; drain. Remove strings from pea pods. Please pea pods in boiling water. Cover and cook 1 minute; drain. Immediately rinse under running cold water; drain.
  4. Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch, the sugar and 2 tablespoons water.
  5. Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain.
  6. Heat 1/4 cup canola oil in a wok or skillet over moderately high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the noodles. Cook and stir the noodles and light brown. Keep noodles warm in the oven.
  7. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil to the wok or skillet. Add the chicken, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until chicken turns white, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the wok or skillet.
  8. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil. Add the mushrooms, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and 1 teaspoon salt and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth mixture and cook until thickened, about 10 seconds. Add the reserve chicken and pea pods. Heat until the chicken is hot, about 1minute. Serve over noodles and garnish with green onions. Serve immediately.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin, For recipes, visit thesweetandsourchronicles.com

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought I’d share this fun and out-of-the-ordinary Thai Chicken Lettuce Cup recipe to make the night before the holiday when you may be entertaining out-of-town guests. I know holidays can be difficult when you’re going through a divorce. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and it felt weird to be on my own as I usually celebrated with my ex’s family. I decided to take matters into my own hands and invited some local LA friends (some of whom were also going through a divorce) and a couple of out-of-towners. It felt good to have a ton of support around me even though it was a lot of work. If you’re in a similar frame of mind, try this recipe which came to my rescue because it’s so easy — they’re kind of like Thai Tacos which means your guests have to assemble the dish themselves which means less work for you!

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 fresh hot red or green pepper, preferably Thai, deseeded and finely sliced

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced galangal or fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup canned chopped water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (white and green parts)
  • 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large butter lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Make the sauce: Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly. Mix ¼ cup of the syrup with the ginger, lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce and chili in a small bowl. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Discard remaining syrup.
  2. Make the filling: Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add cilantro, green onion, lemongrass, fish sauce, crushed red pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dish out and transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Serve chicken mixture with lettuce leaves and ginger lime dipping sauce, allowing guests to form their own wraps.

Hand-dipped Chocolate Fortune Cookies

Food for Thought by Chef Katie Chin

In honor of Fortune Cookie Day which falls on September 13th this year, I wanted to share this fun recipe for Hand-dipped Chocolate Fortune Cookies. I remember when I was going through my divorce I ate a lot of Chinese take-out especially during the “I think I’ll wear my sweatpants and binge watch bad reality TV 24/7 phase.” One day, I opened up my fortune cookie and my fortune read, “Leap and the net will appear.” Those words of wisdom inspired me to get off my couch, take a shower and put on some lipstick! I finally got back out there and leapt into a new career as a chef and put my toe in the dating waters. With all the loving friends and family I had surrounding me I new I truly couldn’t fail and if I fell down, a loving hand would always be on there to pull me back up.

Hand-dipped Chocolate Fortune Cookies

Ingredients

  • 24 fortune cookies
  • 2 cups white candy coating, such as Candy Melts
  • 2 cups dark chocolate candy coating, such as Candy Melts
  • Various sprinkles and chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Place white candy coating and dark chocolate candy coating in separate ceramic bowls. Heat white candy coating at 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval until melted and smooth. Set aside. Repeat steps with dark chocolate candy coating. You may use a double boiler alternatively to melt candy coating.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Place toppings in individual small bowls. Dip each cookie in either white candy coating or dark chocolate candy coating. Decorate with toppings as you desire. Place on cookie sheet. Once cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for 5 minutes to set. Store in an airtight container.