What a surprising and winning recipe this is. First time I made this, David and ate it up and delightedly looked forward to leftovers. Not long after, I made this for my parents, who were in town for a visit, and it was a crowd-pleasing dinner. (This was true even for my dad, who doesn’t like spicy or Asian-style cuisine all that much, though he says his views on that are changing. I think part of his reluctance to embrace take-out-style dishes is we spent much of my younger years living in areas with only lackluster options.) It took cooking this recipe a third time before I had enough time and chicken to snap a few photos before it was eaten. It’s been worth it every time.
Dishes like this aren’t something I try often, in part because there’s a frenetic pace to the breading and pan-frying step: you do have to move quickly to make sure all the bite-sized pieces are evenly and fully cooked. It goes quickly, though, and dinner is on the table that much quicker. It is worth doing a few quick steps to prepare: 1) Get your egg and flour bowls close to the stove and ready to go before you add the chicken to the pan; 2) Have your prep area clean and clutter-free; 3) Keep your tongs handy so you can turn and transfer the chicken when you’re ready; and 4) Have a plate or another bowl set aside to hold the cooked chicken in the final steps, while you prepare the sauce.
If you’re serving the chicken over a bed of rice, be sure to get that going before you start prepping the chicken to cook. Whole-grain brown rice will take 45 minutes, white rice will take about 20 minutes to fully cook. It’s better to have the rice hang out on a back burner for a bit then to have hot chicken get cold waiting for the rice to finish. I’ve also served this with a side of veggies: roasted broccoli is a classic favorite of mine, but I’ve also done a quick green bean sauté sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with a bit of toasted sesame oil, which complements the flavors of the chicken well.