Lemon-Sesame-Gin Chicken Nuggets
Serves 4 as a main course; 6 to 8 as a starter
3 large, skinless, bone-
3 tablespoons gin
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
Peanut or corn oil for pan-frying
For sesame-gin sauce:
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons gin
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into thin slivers
1½ teaspoons water chestnut flour or cornstarch
¼ cup chicken stock
For the batter:
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons water
chestnut flour or
1 tablespoon black
1 teaspoon salt
1. Cut the chicken breasts across the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Pound each slice with the side of a cleaver to flatten it into an oval medallion about ¼ inch thick. Combine the gin, soy sauce, salt, and sugar in a bowl; add the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Prepare the sesame-gin sauce by combining the lemon juice, gin, ginger, sugar, honey, salt, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Cook over high heat until the sugar and honey are dissolved. Stir the water chestnut flour and stock together to make a smooth paste; stir the paste into the sauce and cook until thickened. Keep warm.
3. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. To make the batter, beat the egg whites until frothy. Combine the water chestnut flour, cornstarch, sesame seeds, and salt and blend them into the egg whites. Do not overstir. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Drain the chicken nuggets.
4. Coat the chicken pieces with batter. Place a few nuggets in the skillet, not touching each other. Fry until the bottoms are crisp and golden brown; turn them over and brown the other sides (about 3 minutes total). The chicken should feel firm to the touch. Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining nuggets.
5. Reheat the sauce and pour it over the chicken. Garnish with lemon slices and serve hot and immediately.