Andrew Swersky, owner/chef of the Morada Bar & Grill in Boca Raton, Florida, had the idea of using chicken, instead of fatty duck, in this classic Chinese recipe. I’ve lightened and simplified his version, using flour tortillas instead of Mandarin pancakes. The result is a great party dish, with scallion brushes providing some of the crunch of the duck skin in the traditional recipe.
Serves6 to 8
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course, tapas/small plates
Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturegarlicky, meaty, savory, sweet, umami
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (5 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced across the grain
- 12 scallions
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 12 flour tortillas
Combine the garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl. Whisk to mix. Set aside half of this mixture to use as a sauce. Marinate the chicken in the remaining mixture for 1 to 2 hours, stirring several times.
Meanwhile, make the scallion brushes. Cut the roots and greens off the scallions. (Reserve the latter for another recipe in this book.) There should be 3-inch pieces of scallion white remaining. Make a series of 1-inch lengthwise cuts in each end, gradually rotating the scallion, to form the individual “bristles” of the brush. Soak the scallions in a bowl of ice water for a couple of hours to swell the ends of the brushes.
Just before serving, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Cook the chicken over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until done. Set aside and keep warm. Lightly brush each tortilla with water and toast in a nonstick frying pan over high heat (or warm in a steamer). Divide the reserved marinade among 6 small ramekins or dishes.
Mound the chicken in the center of a platter. Arrange the tortillas (fold them in quarters ’or halves) and scallion brushes around the chicken. Invite guests to use a scallion to brush a tortilla with hoisin sauce. Have them place a spoonful of chicken and the scallion brush in a tortilla and roll it into a cone.
2003, 2010 Steven Raichlen