Sesame & Spring Onion Chicken

I hate to sound like a bad TV chef, but tonight I just wanted something quick and easy. The thought of standing over a slow cooking pot didn’t appeal – chances are I would have eaten most of it before it cooked properly, so instead I opted for something relatively speedy. Chinese food is always good if you’re in a hurry to eat or sit down and this dish, as quick as it is to prepare doesn’t sacrifice anything on the taste front. I really love the smoky, nutty flavour of sesame and it’s very pronounced in this dish. Beautiful! I used some chicken winglets (the little bits from the base of the wing that look like mini-drumsticks – I get them from a very loud Chinese man at Sydney’s Paddy’s Market – he is incapable of giving me the specific amount I ask for and is always about 200g over. I not so secretly know he does it on purpose, but his cheerful barking voice and beaming smile win me over every time. The trouble is I always eat the extra 200g myself…

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (thinly julienned)
2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
600g chicken pieces (wings, thighs, drumsticks – you decide)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
large pinch white pepper
5 spring onions (cut into 4cm batons)
1 small red chilli (seeded and julienned)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (dry roasted till lightly browned)

Heat the sesame oil in a wok over a moderate heat until just smoking, add the ginger and fry for 10-20 seconds until light brown. Add the chicken and stir fry for around 20 seconds before adding the soy, oyster sauce and Shaoxing wine. Stir for a further 2-3 minutes then add about 150ml water and stir well. Reduce the heat and put on a lid and simmer the chicken for about 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Stir in the spring onion and chilli (if using) and cook for no more than 1 minute. Season with a pinch of white pepper. If the sauce is too dry you can also add a couple of tablespoons of water to loosen it up.

Serve immediately on a large platter with the sesame seeds sprinkled over.

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