Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Friday, August 7, 2015

Eat The World- Shannon's Take on Spicy Asian Chicken

If you're a home food preserver like I am you are well aware that canning is not cooking, and generally speaking, you can foods that are ingredients, not composed dishes, right? There are a few exceptions, like soups and some stews, but for the most part I find myself canning a lot of vegetables, pickled foods, relish type foods, and the like. The reality is I prefer this way over a cupboard full of soups and ready to eat meals- they are not as versatile as a cupboard filled with ingredients!

With so many relish and pepper things canned many people wonder what in the world to do with these foods later. Pepper jellies are often poured over a block of cream cheese and served as a spread for crackers, or melted and uses as a baste or glaze for roasting meats. Relishes are added to sandwiches, dips and cheese plates. Hot pepper sauces and salsa add fire to all kinds of foods. Cowboy Candy, or candied jalapenos, is one of those foods so many people ask "Well, what am I supposed to do with this?"

Get the recipe for Cowboy Candy by clicking HERE.

Don't let "candy" fool you- there is a sweet note but these little jewels still pack a punch, especially the leftover juice when you've fished out all the pepper slices. This leftover liquid is an unexpected bonus- you get a slightly sticky, slightly sweet and nicely hot liquid to perk up all kinds of dishes. 

Picture from Paul Quick
So where do you get the leftover syrup? Well, a couple of ways. Often when you make a recipe like this for home canning you find you have excess brine (I always have leftover- especially when making pickles). You can pour the extra liquid from Cowboy Candy into extra canning jars and process along with the other jars for shelf stability or just pop in the fridge. Because the peppers get simmered in the brine for a few minutes before packing into jars it does have some of the heat infused already. You also will have leftover, and usually hotter, liquid left after you have fished out the sliced peppers and ate them. Save this as well! The flavor is incredible.

It's so useful. You can cook it to reduce it and get a syrupy sweet and hot drizzle or dipping sauce, a great way to jazz up purchased salad dressings. It makes a great marinade, an add-in to barbeque sauce, a great way to perk up fridge pickles or store bought pickles, and turns Asian style foods into something extra wonderful.

This is where Shannon comes in. Shannon Goudy lives in Florida and enjoys home food preserving as much as I do. She is a regular contributor in a Facebook canning group we both belong to and often posts recipes, loads of pictures and great hints- including her take on a sweet hot Asian chicken dish that you are going to LOVE. Shannon came up with this recipe and called it Triple "S" Threat Chicken- sticky, spicy and sweet- and I agree!! 

Shannon's Triple "S" Threat Chicken

1 1/2 cups Cowboy Candy Syrup
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 large chicken breasts
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs
Oil for frying (Shannon prefers peanut oil)

To make the sauce, combine the Cowboy Candy syrup, ginger and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Mix the cold water and cornstarch together until the cornstarch is fully dissolved then add to the syrup mixture. Whisk together and cook over medium heat until thickened. Set aside.

For the chicken, start by beating the eggs in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and salt. Set aside.

Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. Working on small batches, dip the chicken in the egg to coat, then in the flour mixture. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and keep warm until all chicken has been fried.

Toss the chicken with some of the sauce- just enough to coat, and serve over jasmine, basmati or long grain rice, and sprinkle with some Cowboy Candy. Serves 4 to 6.

Doesn't this sound KILLER? I am definitely making this as soon as I restock my Cowboy Candy stash. A side of stir fried veggies and this is better than any takeout I can imagine. 

Shannon gets her cooking chops from her hobbies- like me, she is a cookbook reader. Yep, cover to cover just like me. She, also just like me, watches cooking shows like some people watch sports, with Food Network personalities Robert Irvine, from Restaurant Impossible, Dinner Impossible, and more,  and Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, among her favorites. She gets some professional kitchen experience working for her uncle- she prepares lunch every day for the entire staff of her uncle's business, about twenty people, including all the planning, shopping and budgeting.

The country lifestyle in northwest Florida is something Shannon really thrives in- stopping at farm stands for produce and local dairy products, and I'm sure all that beautiful produce is featured i many dishes from her kitchen. She really loves all things Asian- Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, and those veggies are vital to amazing Asian foods. 

Besides cooking, Shannon is a big animal lover, and loves spending time wherever there is water, be it the beach, river, spring or pool!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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