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Chicken Velvet


Sunny Simmons Steincamp
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There is a Chinese restaurant in Richmond where I always order Chicken Velvet. I never could figure out how on earth the delicate, almost dumpling-like chicken squares were made, and finally decided to look up a recipe for the dish. I found several that seem to be similar - basically, you place chopped chicken breast in a food processor to mince it, adding chicken stock to achieve a kind of paste, then fold in beaten egg whites and, in some recipes, cornstarch. The problem is, I have yet to find a recipe that actually described forming this mixture into the square shapes that I get when I order it... most just say to stir fry the chicken mixture, using chopsticks to "separate the individual pieces" (which makes little sense to me, since after mincing the chicken into a paste, what on earth kind of pieces are there to separate?)

I'll try this anyway, maybe experiment with rolling them out dumpling-style and cutting them, or something similar, but thought I'd check here to see if anyone knows what I'm talking about and has any advice or suggestions.

TIA!

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You cut chicken breast into cubes. Mix up some egg whites with corn starch, and coat the chicken in it. Deep fry at low temperature for a minute or so, then finish the cooking in a sauce or stir fry.

'Velveting' refers to the technique of coating in starch and egg whites, then deep frying at low temperature. You don't want to completely cook the pieces in the oil, you cook it just enough to 'set' the outer part.

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Ok, that I understand... but what about the recipes that call for turning the chicken into a paste? There's part of one <a href="http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r763.html">here</a> in recipe gullet, and a more fleshed out version <a href="http://chinesefood.about.com/od/poultryrecad/r/chickenvelvet.htm">here</a>.

Didn't know about "velveting," though... guess what I made tonight was Velvet Pork. *grin*

Thanks for the info!

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