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Popcorn Chicken and Waffles with Ice Cream 椒鹽雞塊鬆餅冰淇淋

This dish is a modern twist on classic Popcorn Chicken. Popcorn Chicken is always severed piping hot in both temperature as well as spiciness. This is by far one of the most popular street food snacks you can find in every night market throughout Taiwan.
I created this dish with contrast to the palate. Using Ice cream to cool the heat, the bitterness of the matcha powder to balance the sweetness and serve it in a crunchy waffle cone to finish off the texture.
Serve it as a dessert or a set meal. Either way, it will be a guest pleaser!

- Yu Tsai

by Yu Tsai
Serves  3 to 4
Prep time  20 Min
Cooks in  20 Min
Difficulty  medium
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photo by Yu Tsai

    • 1 ½ to 2 pounds (680 – 900 grams) boneless chicken thighs
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoon of ginger
    • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine (or sake)
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
    • 1 1/2 cup sweet potato starch
    • 4 cups (950ml) peanut oil or enough to fill a deep-sided pot for frying.
    • 1 - 2 cups (approx. 473 ml) of vanilla ice cream
    • 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder – to taste
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper – to taste
    • ½ cup (64 grams) sweet basil
    • 4 waffle cones
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Instructions for Chicken:

  1. Dice the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces. They can vary slightly in size and shape. It adds character to the dish.
  2. In a big bowl, combine soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, black pepper, salt, sugar, baking powder and Chinese five spice powder.
  3. Mix well and add the diced chicken into the bowl, cover it and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Longer the better for the flavor to really sink in.

Breading and Frying:

  1. Cover the surface of a large oven pan with sweet potato starch.
  2. Place all the chicken in the tray and coat chicken completely with sweet potato starch. Let chicken set in the pan to really absorb the starch.
  3. When frying the Pop Corn Chicken, it is very important that temperature of the oil is between 360 to 380 degree to get the perfect golden-brown outside and be fully cooked inside.
  4. When the oil reaches temperature, drop in about 8 to 10 chicken pieces into the oil.
  5. Use an extra long chop stick to stir them around so they don’t stick together.
  6. Cook the chicken until golden brown.
  7. Keep in mind, the color will deepen when removed from the oil.
  8. Remove the chicken with a skimmer and place the cooked chicken on paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
  9. After all the chicken is cooked, drop in the basil for a fast fry just until its crispy.
  10. Make sure you have towel dried all the Thai basil before dropping into oil to avoid splashing.
  11. To serve, sprinkle more black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper for some heat.
  12. Place the popcorn chicken into the waffle cone, top off with ice cream and more popcorn chicken. For the finishing touch, sprinkle matcha powder on top and garnish with fried basil.

This dish will sure be a showstopper for any occasion.

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