Bang Bang Chicken with Spicy Almond Sauce
Coconut oil for cooking
For the chicken
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon white pepper (black can also be used)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
For the slurry
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk (water could also be used)
For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/2 small brown onion, diced (or 1/4 large)
- 1/2 long red chili, sliced or finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt or cream
- 1/4 cup water
- Juice of 1/2 lime
For the salad
- 1 head of baby gem lettuce, shredded
- 1/2 long cucumber, sliced into thin strips
- 1 large carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks
- 1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced into strips
- 1 small mango, sliced into thin strips or diced
- 1/4 cup diced scallions/spring onion
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- A good pinch of salt
- First, if you can, I suggest marinating the chicken for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking. Simply lay the chicken pieces on a cutting board (close together) and sprinkle evenly with all of the spices and salt. Use your hands to massage the chicken meat to make sure the spices are distributed evenly. Leave in the fridge for an hour or overnight and make sure to remove from the cold for 10-15 minutes before frying.
- The next you can make the sauce. This can also be made ahead of time if you’re doing this as part of meal prep on the weekend. Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, onion, chill and salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times, until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir through over heat until melted and well combined (for about a minute).
- Transfer the sauce mixture to a small blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. If storing in the fridge, simply reheat before serving to thin it out (you can add a little more water if gets too thick in the fridge).
- If not using a blender or a food processor, dice the onions, chill, and garlic very finely, so that once the sauce is combined in the pot, you can leave it unprocessed.
- Make the salad before you start cooking the chicken. That way all the components are ready for service. Simply cut all the salad ingredients and assemble in a bowl or a large platter. Drizzle with lime juice, sprinkle with a little sea salt and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
- Now to cooking the chicken. Make sure the chicken is out of the fridge so it’s not too cold. The first step is to make the flour slurry. Combine the flours with the almond or coconut milk and whisk through until smooth. Add the slurry to the chicken and mix until evenly coated.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (a thin layer) over medium-high heat and once hot add the chicken pieces, one by one, making sure there is a little space around them. I like to use chopsticks for this as you can delicately move the pieces around the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side. Use a thin spatula to slide under the chicken, if it feels a little stuck before you turn it over.
- Serve the chicken over the salad platter and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the sauce. Serve extra sauce on the side. I like to also serve some extra green vegetables such as steamed broccoli or snow peas.