This vinegar glazed chicken is, according to Grace Young, a typical Hunan family style stir-fry. Grace simplifies the recipe by using crushed red pepper instead of dried chilies.
One of the key ingredients in this Vinegar Glazed Chicken is Chinkiang vinegar, made from fermented rice. It's dark colored, and fairly mild and slightly sweet. If you can't find it, balsamic vinegar is a great substitute.
In addition to the vinegar, this stir-fried vinegar glazed chicken has 14 other ingredients, including two kinds of soy sauce, Shao Hsing rice wine, ground Sichuan peppercorns, sesame oil, minced garlic, and minced ginger. Lots of minced garlic and ginger!
While I love the flavor minced ginger adds to these Wok Wednesdays dishes, this recipe called for a whole tablespoon. Fortunately, I had just received this new cool tool, a Deiss citrus zester and cheese grater. I decided to try it out for mincing the ginger. Boom. I had a tablespoon in less than a minute. Honestly, with my knife skills, this would have taken me quite a bit longer, and I would have ended up with chunks of ginger, not a fine mince. (Disclosure: I received this zester from Deiss with no strings attached. This is not a sponsored post. I just really like this gadget.)
The resulting flavor of this vinegar glazed chicken is so rich and complex! I gave some to my 12 year old grandson, along with some sticky rice, and he declared it "delicious!" Such praise like that makes my day!
Once again, I need to learn the difference between slice versus dice. There is no photo of the dish in the book, so when Grace writes "cut into 1/4 inch thick bite-sized slices," my brain sees "cut into 1/4 inch thick bite-sized pieces." Of course, that is nearly impossible, so I cut my chicken into 1/2 inch chunks and hoped for the best. It was only after seeing this interpretation of the recipe (which does not include the essential dark soy sauce, and uses less garlic and ginger) that I realized I could have thinly "sliced" the chicken. Doh!
The recipe can be found on page 136 of Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. If I haven't convinced you to buy the book yet, be sure to check it out from the library. I'm pretty sure you'll want to own a copy after reading the wonderful stories and recipes.
Wok Wednesdays members have been stir frying their way through Grace Young's wonderful book Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. Guess what? We only have once recipe left, broccoli beef, and we will have made every recipe in the book. That's pretty incredible.
Fortunately, the party is not over. Our new project will be exploring new techniques with Grace's book, The Breath of a Wok. See the Wok Wednesdays site for more details, and Grace's site for details about winning an autographed copy of the book. You do not need to be a blogger to join in. In fact, 99.9 percent of the participants are not bloggers.