It is normal to crave comfort food during the winter as we tend to be less active due to reduced sunlight and the cold weather. We feel hungrier as our body demands rich and hearty foods. With that in mind, I enjoy preparing a crispy stir-fried chicken chili. The secret of the simple recipe that I use is anise seeds, as well as peanuts, lemon powder, dried whole red chili, and more. Anise seeds is similar to fennel seeds. They provide a natural sweetness and a smoky flavor when used in cooking crispy spicy chicken.
- 1-pound chicken thighs boneless, cut into thin slices
- 5-6 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 1 red onion, medium size, diced
- ½ cup spring onion, chopped
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ peanuts
- ½ cup dried whole red chili
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup peanuts oil, plus one tablespoon for stir fry
For chicken marinade:
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper (Seasoning mix, made by lemon zest and black peppercorns)
- Salt as needed
Marinating the chicken:
In a mixing bowl, add chicken, ginger, jalapeno, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lemon pepper, and salt. Mix well until the marinade comes together. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Frying the chicken:
In a mixing bowl, add chicken pieces along with cornstarch. Coat the chicken with cornstarch. Then let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes so that the coating sticks better.
Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add chicken pieces and fry for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is golden brown on each side. Put the chicken in a bowl lined with a paper towel.
Stir-frying chicken with sauce:
Heat peanut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, dried whole red chili, anise seeds, and peanuts. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until all the ingredients are roasted. Add chicken, onion and sugar, and toss for a minute until the sugar coats the chicken. Garnish with spring onions, adjust the salt, and serve immediately.