Chicken fingers with apricot dipping sauce

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium
Vegetable oil, for frying

For the sauce

150g apricot preserves
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp tomato ketchup
6 slices unpeeled fresh ginger
1/2 a lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

For the chicken

225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp fine salt, plus more as needed
295 to 350ml cold soda water
450g boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (about 2 large breasts)
1) Pour enough oil into a tall heavy-bottomed pan so it comes about a third of the way up the sides. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil registers 170 degrees C. Set a rack on a baking sheet, put it in the oven, and preheat to 95 degrees C.

2) For the sauce: Stir the preserves, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, and ginger in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with cling film and microwave on HIGH until the preserves melt, about 30 seconds. Stir in lemon juice and cool before serving.

3) Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the cold soda and whisk until batter just comes together; it should be lumpy.

4) Pat the chicken very dry. Cut the chicken lengthwise into 2cm x 7cm strips. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Working in small batches, dip the chicken strips into the batter to coat evenly. Fry the chicken, turning once, until richly golden and crisp, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a rack in oven to keep warm while frying the remaining chicken.

Cook's notes: Soda produces a light, airy, crisp batter. Use cold soda water; it makes the batter lighter and crisper. After frying the last batch, if the first few batches are soggy, recrisp them in the hot oil for 30 to 45 seconds.

Copyright 2005 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

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