Taiwanese three-cup chicken is named for the formula once used to prepare the dish: one cup each of sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine. Not surprisingly, recipes no longer adhere to that ratio, but the name has stuck. Bone-in chicken legs that have been hacked into pieces are customarily used in this one-pan dish; we opted for boneless, skinless chicken thighs for easier prep and eating. Serve with rice and steamed or stir-fried vegetables.
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3/4 cup sake
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch-wide strips
- 12 medium garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
- 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 serrano chili, stemmed and sliced into thin rounds
- 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn if large
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 35mins
Adapted from 177milkstreet.com
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and soy sauce, then stir in the sake and sugar. Set aside. Heat a wok over medium-high for 3 minutes, or until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook without stirring until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is well-browned and softened, about 4 minutes. Add the scallions, serrano, ginger and sesame oil, then cook, stirring constantly, until the scallions begin to wilt, about 1 minute.
Stir the sake-cornstarch mixture to recombine, then add to the wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Off heat, add the basil and stir until it begins to wilt, about 30 seconds.