Chicken Stir-Fry with Homemade Chilli Jam Sauce
This recipe is a 2-step process. The first step is to make the chilli jam sauce. Once this step is done, the second step is fairly easy and straight forward making use of the chilli jam sauce on the final dish.
The chilli jam sauce can be made at any time so it can be stored in an air-tight jar or container in the fridge. It should last for a few weeks. However, there are a couple of techniques to get that smoky aroma of the chilli jam sauce.
The first technique is to roast some dried chillies, garlic and shallots (also known as french shallots or eschalots) until they are smoky but not burnt. And, the second technique is to slowly cook on a low-medium simmering heat until the ingredients are infused in the sauce pan releasing a beautiful smoky aroma and caramelised with the sugar. Palm sugar is preferred; otherwise, you can substitute with brown sugar.
In this recipe, I use my homemade chilli jam sauce on a simple chicken stir-fry and flavour the aroma with some Thai basil leaves.
Make the chilli jam sauce. Detailed instruction below
Cut chicken fillet into thin slices and marinade
Prepare and cut the vegetables into bite pieces
Separate the basil leaves from its stem
Stir-fry marinated chicken with some oil on high heat
Add the other ingredients with vegetables the sauce. Continue stir-fry until chicken is cooked but not overcooking the vegetables
Remove and plate
How to make
Make the chilli jam paste. Roughly chop 1 red capsicum. Peel skin of garlic and french shallots. Break dried chillies into half and tip out the seeds. In a dry sauce pan, toast the dried chillies first until smoky browned but not burnt. Remove and set aside to cool down. Next toast both garlic and french shallots on the same dry sauce pan until slightly charred but not burnt. Remove and set aside to cool down. In a spice grinder, ground the toasted dried chillies and set aside. In a blender, add the toasted garlic and french shallots, chopped red capsicum and ground chillies. Blend until smooth. Remove and set aside. Heat up 1 cup of cooking oil in a sauce pan. Once oil is warm enough not smoking, add the blended spice paste and sautéed on low-medium heat. Add 1 cup of tamarind juice (a large knob of tamarind pulp mixed with water) and 1 large knob of palm sugar. Gently simmer until paste has caramelised. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Once paste is fully caramelised and oil is separated, remove and let it cool down. Now that the chilli jam paste is made, you can use it on your favourite dish recipe.
Make the chicken stir-fry. Cut the chicken breast into thin slices. Cut the green beans in halves. Cut 1 red capsicum into thin stripes.
This step is optional. Marinade with 1 teaspoon light soy, a dash of salt and white pepper, 1 egg white and 2 teaspoons corn starch to bind the ingredients.
In a wok or sauce pan, heat up 1 cup of cooking oil. Once oil is hot, add the chicken and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
Add the spring onions. Stir fry for 1 minute with the chicken.
Add green beans and fish sauce (about 2 tablespoons or to taste. This add saltiness to the dish). Mix through and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the red capsicum. Mix through and stir fry for another minute before adding 3-4 tablespoons of chilli jam sauce. Mix through and then add Thai basil leaves.
Remove and plate
2 chicken breast fillet
8-10 spring onion lower halves
a bunch of Thai basil leaves
2 red capsicums
a bunch of green beans
about 2 cups of dried chillies
1 large garlic bulb
8-10 french shallots or eschalots
palm sugar or brown sugar