• For the Sweet Chili Sauce:
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup white sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sherry (or cooking sherry)
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon dried crushed chili (1 tablespoon makes spicy-hot sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 4 tablespoons cold water)
  • For the Chicken:
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

A flavorful Asian favorite made easily at home

Tales of the Dinner Belle

By Brenda Stanley

Crispy tender chicken and a sweet chili sauce are a wonderful flavor combination. My mandarin chicken is simple to make. A quick fry with a light flour coating gives the chicken a crispiness rather than a thick breading. The sweet chili sauce has the flavors of garlic and red pepper, but is also slightly sweet. You can serve the chicken with the sauce over top or on the side for dipping. Make a side of rice and you have a tasty Asian meal. No need to order out when you can make this dish easily at home.

Belle’s Mandarin Chicken with Sweet Chili Sauce

For the Sweet Chili Sauce:

½ cup rice vinegar

½ cup white sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons sherry (or cooking sherry)

3 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 to 1 tablespoon dried crushed chili (1 tablespoon makes spicy-hot sauce)

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 4 tablespoons cold water)

For the Chicken:

6-8 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Place all ingredients for the sauce (except the cornstarch-water mixture) in a saucepan and heat to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture and cook and stir until thick. Remove from heat and set aside. Place each chicken thigh in a plastic zip closure bag (or between two sheets of plastic wrap) and using a mallet, pound until each is about a ½ inch thick.  In a large fry pan heat both oils over medium high. In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, garlic salt, and pepper. Dredge each chicken thigh through the flour and shake to remove excess. Cook in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides and no pink remains- about 4 minutes each side. Work in batches of two. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, and keep warm. Serve with the sweet chili sauce over top or on the side for dipping.