This authentic Chinese dish is an old family recipe of our Godmother, "Auntie Esther", who introduced it to us when we were kids. It is one of those culinary pieces of heaven that your tongue and mind never forget (at least we didn't). Please note that this recipe is definitely "old-school", meaning a little of this, a little of that, etc., mostly to your own personal tastes, so feel free to "play" with it a bit. It is also a bit of work, but once you get the hang of it, then it goes quicker. Either way, well worth the effort.
Personally, I think my brothers may owe me BIG time for this long-awaited-for recipe. Maybe not, they are good brothers!
12 chicken thighs, boned (or boneless/skinless)
cilantro (leaves), chopped (to taste)
granulated garlic and salt (to taste)
Hoisen sauce (about 8 tablespoonfuls or so)
Soy Sauce, just a little (optional, depends upon your tastes)
Cornstarch (about a teaspoon or so for simply absorbing the excess meat juice)
Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
Aluminum foil (lightweight not heavyduty/heavyweight)
Take as much fat as you can off of the chicken, then cut into bite-size pieces. Place into bowl. Chop up some cilantro (my advice is to start with a small bunch, meaning a sprinkle of chopped Cilantro and then if you want more you can add to it as your tastes demand). Add to chicken in bowl. Mix some (a fair sprinkle) granulated garlic and salt and the Hoisen sauce (I would not add the Soy Sauce the first time making this, but judge it after you make it and then decide if you would like a little Soy Sauce the next time around). Mix all well. Add a the little bit of cornstarch to the chicken mixture to absorb any excess meat juice. Cover, refrigerate and let stand overnight (this is to marinade it properly).
Cut foil into approx. 6" x 6" pieces, dull side inside. Put approx. 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture on foil. Fold in half and then seal all sides by folding over at least twice. Do not make packages too fat! When you seal the individual packs, try to get excess air out of package, so it does not expand too much during cooking.
Heat vegetable oil in large pot (put enough oil in as though you were frying donuts). When oil is HOT!, add approx. 4 packages of chicken, more if pot is large enough. Deep fat fry packages, turning each one over at least once. Fry for about three minutes, then remove from oil. Open one package and check for done-ness. Depending upon the state of "done", adjust (or not) the length of time you cook the remainder of the chicken.
Excellent served with white rice and either steamed broccoli or steamed asparagus. Can be served as an appetizer of sorts as the bite-size pieces can make that possible. The only problem with that is that you will want it for a meal. Enjoy!