Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe By Kevin O’Toole
I asked Kevin O’Toole to give me a recipe with one quality Irish product. Kevin picked Rings Farm chicken.
In this new series of posts, I ask a chef for a recipe you can make at home. They have full freedom, I just ask them to cook with at least one Irish product they love. The aim of this exercise is to give you something delicious to cook with and to hopefully boost business for Irish food producers who are at risk of their livelihoods in this time of Covid 19.
If you’ve ever eaten in the famed, but now gone, Chameleon restaurant in Dublin, you have had Kevin O’Toole’s cooking and you will know the man knows what he’s talking about. Far from being idle since, letting go of the restaurant, Kevin O’Toole, can now be found teaching Culinary Arts or hosting supper clubs at Picado Mexican. As it happens, I once wrote about Kevin’s wife, Carol Walsh, for my series on the women of the Irish food industry. Quite the power couple, I’m telling you.
Sean Ring farms his chicken in and around Kilkenny. He offers a range of poultry from free-range to organic. You can find and order the full range here. When I asked Kevin why he picked Rings Farm chickens, he said: “I had 5 large birds delivered to my door for €49, amazing value, beautiful birds.” And that’s good enough for us.
Some things to consider:
- This recipe will serve 4
- It works really well with chicken but is just as nice with pork (Kevin has made this with pork chops and belly strips before and liked it very much).
- This recipe isn’t claiming to be mad authentic. It is aimed at everyday ingredients, you may have knocking around the press.
Ingredients for the meat
- Chicken, no skin, no bone 500g, cut into 3/4 inch chunks.
- White wine 2 tbspoons
- Fish sauce 1 tbspoon
- Soy sauce 1 tbspoon
- Eggs (beaten) 2
- Oil for deep frying
- Corn flour 150g ish
Ingredients for the sauce
- Sugar 4 tbspoons
- Corn flour 1 tbspoon
- Tropical or pineapple fruit juice 200 ml
- Soy sauce 1 tbspoon
- White wine 3 tbspoons
- Rice vinegar 2 tbspoons
- Water 100 ml
- Ketchup 3 tbspoons
- Medium onion 1 (thinly sliced)
- Dried birds eye chillies 2 (broken) optional
- Pineapple 1 quarter (diced)
- Ginger 1 tbspoon (minced)
Method for the meat
- Marinade the meat in wine, fish sauce & soy for about an hour. Make your sauce during this time.
Heat oil in a wok or deep fat fryer to around 170C.
- Add beaten egg to your marinading meat, put the cornflour on a separate tray or plate.
- Using a tongs, dip and coat individual pieces of meat in cornflour and fry until cooked through, this will depend on how big the chunks are, test a big piece.
- Fry them in batches so the temperature of the oil doesn’t drop. Let them rest on kitchen paper.
Method for the sauce
- Mix the liquid ingredients together and set aside.
- Sweat your onions slowly until soft, add ginger, pineapple, and chillies and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce liquid and cook gently until it thickens, reduces a little and bubbles.
- Your sauce is ready, turn off the heat for now.
- Cook your rice
- Heat your sauce up again, make sure you’re happy with its consistency.
- Add the meat to the sauce, coating all the pieces.
- Serve with white rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced scallions and a beer.