Apple Juice Chicken
This oriental style dish, chicken in apple juice is the result of my culinary explorations to come up with a simple chicken dish with just a few ingredients. Since this dish is not overtly spicy and due to its sweet, tangy, fruity flavour it generally appeals to the taste buds of the kids. It goes very well as a side dish with noodles or fried rice, even with just plain white rice.
Chicken (boneless and cubed) – 500 gm.
Apple juice – 500 ml.
Ginger, chopped – 1 teaspoon.
Chilli flakes, optional – half teaspoon.
Cornflour – 1 tablespoon, dissolved in quarter cup of water.
Freshly ground black pepper.
Salt – according to taste.
In a bowl marinade the chicken pieces in the apple juice. Add some chilli flakes and salt. Keep it in the refrigerator for atleast couple of hours. You may keep it overnight as well.
In a pan heat oil, add chopped ginger and saute for about a minute. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and add them into the pan. Drain the chicken pieces as much as possible but retain the liquid to add later. Stir fry the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes till they start turning slightly brown.
Now, add the apple juice (of the marinade), and cook on low heat (sim) for about 8-10 minutes or till the juice gets reduced almost to half (a little more than half is fine as well).
Add the cornflour (dissolved in about quarter cup of water) to slightly thicken the gravy. Cook on low heat for about 3 minutes more.
Add some freshly ground pepper, stir it well once and switch off the heat. Keep it aside for about 5 mins and serve warm.
For variation, you may add chopped garlic instead of, or along with, the chopped ginger.
For extra hotness, instead of chilli flakes you may use finely chopped red chilli. In that case, add it during marination of the chicken.
In this dish I prefer using red chillies instead of green ones just to make the dish look more appealing due to the vibrant red colour of the chillies. However, adding chilli is not at all mandatory.
You can adjust the tanginess of the gravy by adding a bit of sugar. However, it depends on your taste – whether you like the dish to be on a sweeter side or otherwise.
After adding the juice into the pan, cook it on a low flame. Avoid boiling the juice on high heat.
Feel free to try it even with orange juice instead of apple juice. Since orange juice is generally more tangier than apple juice, you may need to adjust it by adding some sugar, of course, as you like it.