Growing up there is one particular dish that had always caught my attention until I finally decided to make my own. Yes after so many years and I must admit that I only tasted it once. I used to find them on display most of the time at my place of work, during Lunch hours at the canteen. I am familiar with a lot of chicken dishes notably the famous Mauritian Chicken Curry, Fried Chicken , Chicken in Tomato Stew and so many more varieties of dishes really. However this particular dish has always been an intriguing one- Stir fry Chicken in Black Bean sauce.
Black bean sauce is one of the most versatile Chinese sauces that goes well with almost any ingredients, and is also suitable for stir frying, baking, grilling, and steaming. I recommend that everyone who loves Chinese food have a jar of pre-made black bean sauce in their fridge. The sauce is extremely versatile. You can view it as soy sauce alternative, only more flavorful. The sauce is healthier than many other Chinese sauces because it contains less sugar. Sounds almost like a magic sauce, right?
Before I was always hesitant to try new things out. Yes we know right, who loves changes? Every time I was passing by the display window of the canteen , the Black Bean Chicken would always get my attention. Lying there in a glorious dark sauce with a lot of assorted greens and sometimes with mushrooms altogether. They would serve that with some sticky rice or sometimes with plain fried rice. I mean how tempting can chicken look in a black sauce. But voila, I braced myself and ordered one plate too. It was some sort of exciting adventure that I was happy to get myself on board on that day. Don’t you feel so proud of yourself when you dare for something?
The sauce is simply delicious really. And the recipe is such an easy one for you to try out on weekends or as a quick fix meal. Easily accompanied by white rice or fried rice as well and probably some lemon chilli paste to uplift the whole mountain of flavours that are very well hidden inside those layers of vegetables. I loved how succulent the sauce turned out really and I would highly recommend trying it atleast once as it changes the norm with having chicken.
Black Bean Chicken – Poulet a la sauce Black Bean
Preparation time : 30 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Serves: 5 servings
For the chicken marinade:
750g Chantecler chicken breasts , cut into thick slices or 1 whole chicken
3 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
For the rest of the dish:
3 tablespoons oil, divided
3 slices ginger, julienned
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
3 scallions, chopped and separated into white and green parts
1 cup fermented black beans, washed and drained or ready made black bean sauce
1 green bell pepper, cut into bitesized pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into bitesized pieces
1 cup carrots finely sliced
2 baby pak choi
50g dried mushrooms
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt, or to tastse
2 cups water
1. Combine the Chantecler chicken and the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and mix until all the liquid is absorbed. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat your wok over high heat, until it starts to smoke. This step is essential, as it prevents the chicken from sticking to the wok. Add 2 tablespoons of oil over the bottom of the wok.
3.Add the Chantecler chicken, and quickly spread the pieces.Let the chicken cook for about 30 seconds, flip,and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. The Chantecler chicken is done once it turns opaque––be careful not to overcook it. Turn off the heat, transfer the chicken to a dish, and set aside.
4. Next, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, and let it cook for 15 seconds.
5.Next, add the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the black beans sauce. Stir for another 30 seconds. Now turn up the heat to high. Add the green and red peppers,mushrooms and stir fry for about a minute.
6.Add the sugar,wine, salt, the Chantecler chicken, 2 cups of water, baby pak choi , carrots and the green parts of the scallion. Quickly stir fry everything well to coat in the sauce, and serve!
Note : I used whole Chantecler chicken and cut pieces respectively. It is best if you use Chantecler Chicken breasts normally.