Preparation / Directions:
Quoting from the article the recipe was contained in, "The dish is not difficult to make and can be prepared partially in advance. The crunch texture of the chicken pieces is achieved by coating them with egg and cornstarch, then deep-frying them twice ~ once to cook them through and once at a higher temperature to make them brown and crisp. The velvety sweet-sour sauce, which is combined with the chicken at the last minute, provides a wonderful counterpoint. The amount of heat is your option. Sixteen small dried red peppers provide a moderate amount of heat. Add more or less to taste, but be careful not to bite into one. They are dynamite!"
Whisk together thoroughly the egg and cornstarch. Add pieces of chicken, turning to coat evenly. In wok or deep-fat fryer, heat 2 inches of oil to 350F. Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time until lightly browned and just cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
Combine sauce ingredients, mixing well. Set aside. (The chicken may be fried the first time up to one hour in advance; the sauce can be combined several days in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.) In frying pan, heat 1 TBSP of oil until hot. Add chili peppers and cook until blackened. Add onions and stir-fry about one minute.
Add garlic and ginger, cooking briefly, but do not brown. Remove from heat. Reheat deep oil to 400F. Return chicken to fat, in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Re-stir sauce and add to frying pan with onions and peppers. Cook, stirring until thickened and bubbly. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until well coated and heated through.
Serve over rice.