1 large egg white
3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided use
3 tablespoons dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine, divided use
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided use
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup chicken broth, divided use
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable oil or canola oil for frying
12 dry red chili peppers, see cook's notes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sliced green onion (including dark green stalks
For serving: about 4 to 5 cups cooked rice
Garnish: 1/2 cup lightly toasted cashews
Garnish: 2 green onions, sliced on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
In medium bowl, whisk egg white, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons wine and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
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Prepare sauce: In another bowl, whisk remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon chicken broth until smooth. Add remaining 3 tablespoons broth, 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, vinegar and sugar; stir to combine. Set aside until ready to finish the dish.
In large work or large, deep skillet add enough oil to come up about 2 1/2 inches up side of pan. Heat oil to about 350 degrees. (Test the heat by placing a piece of chicken in the oil - it should float immediately). Remove chicken from marinade and carefully slide it into hot oil. Fry, turning until golden and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes (you may need to do this in two batches). Use long wooden chopsticks to separate pieces as they cook. Drain on paper towels.
Discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the oil in the wok (or if you prefer, use a clean wok or deep, large skillet). Heat oil on medium-high heat and add whole chilies; stir-fry until darkened. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and 1/2 cup sliced green onions. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add chicken broth sauce from Step No. 2; bring to boil and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place rice on serving platter. Top with chicken and pour hot sauce over chicken. Garnish with cashews and green onions.