Lately, my life has gone from busy to ‘Ihavenotimetobreathehelpmeohgod’ kind of busy; meaning, time assigned to meals, extravagant meals, has dwindled considerably. Kitchen and cooking time has reduced to once-a-week-quickies, and one-pot meals are the rage. Not that I mind, but some days you just need to break the monotone and whip up a meal that’s both lush, and yet insanely simple!
I found this recipe by chance, while browsing through Facebook videos, and though it was my first encounter with it, I loved it. Also, it’s really such a simple dish that you can make it even when you’re really, REALLY pressed for time. AND also, I love the name…DRAGON CHICKEN 😀 there’s something really fiery about it, no? 😉
Did you visualize fire-breathing chickens? Because no, that’s not we’re talking about. This dish, made of chicken and not dragons, is probably named thus because of its red colour, like a fire-breathing chicken…see? 😛 Now I have no clue about its origins, but I’m guessing this is one of those Indo-Chinese concoctions like Chili Chicken, Manchurian, etc.
It’s a tad on the spicy side, considering it uses hot red chili paste, but you can tone it down and use Kashmiri red chili for colour, and a bit of red chili paste or pepper powder. I’ve heard many people argue that Dragon Chicken is just Chili Chicken in another avatar, but I won’t delve deeper into it since I don’t know whether that’s true or not. Though taste wise this is nothing like Chili Chicken, especially since you’re adding loads of cashews here which lends the dish a unique flavour.
I made this on a busy weekday, for lunch (as it took me a meager 30 mins from marination to cooking), and paired it up with my Peppery Fried Rice, while Mom and Dad enjoyed theirs with some of Mom’s special Egg Fried Rice. You can have it with noodles, or even plain rice if you wish. Dragon Chicken also serves well as an appetizer/starter, and can be enjoyed with drinks or snacks 🙂
- Boneless Chicken Breast – 500 grams (cut into thin strips)
- Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tsp
- Red Chili Paste – 1 tbsp (ground up dry red chili)
- Egg – 1
- All Purpose Flour/Maida – 1/2 cup
- Corn Flour/Corn Starch – 1/4 cup
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Oil for deep frying
For the Gravy:
- Cashews – 15 to 20 halves
- Onions – 1 large or 2 small, thinly sliced
- Capsicum – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Red Chili paste/Kashmiri Red Chili powder – 1 tbsp
- Tomato Sauce/Ketchup – 2 tbsp
- Dark Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – 1 & 1/4 tsp
- Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
- Spring Onion for garnishing
- Cut the chicken into 1 inch sized long strips.
- In a mixing bowl, to the chicken, add the ingredients listed under ‘marination’, and mix well. (The marinade should be semi-thick, like pudding).
- Keep aside for 15 mins.
- Heat oil in a deep-bottomed vessel, and when hot, fry the chicken strips for 2 to 3 mins, until golden and crisp.
- Drain and keep aside.
- Now use 2 tbsp of the same oil in a frying pan to fry the cashews until golden.
- Reserve half, and to the rest add the sliced onion and capsicum.
- Toss well, and let them turn translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste, saute well, and cover the pan with a lid.
- Let the onion and capsicum soften a bit, and uncover the lid after 2 to 3 mins.
- Season with red chili paste or Kashmiri red chili powder, Soy sauce, Tomato sauce, sugar and mix well.
- Let the gravy simmer for a few minutes, and add the fried chicken.
- Toss the chicken with the sauce well, and add 1/4 cup of water mixed with 1 tbsp of cornflour. (this is optional, if you want a dry appetizer, skip this step).
- Let the gravy simmer and coat the chicken well for 2 to 3 mins, and lastly garnish with the remaining fried cashews.
- Give a last stir, and switch off the heat.
- Serve Dragon Chicken with Fried Rice or Noodles.