Tom Ham, the late owner of the Bali Hai restaurant in San
Diego created this dish, which was a favorite of many people for years. Although
no longer on the menu, you can sample his well-known dish at home, thanks to the
staff at Bali Hai.
The recipe calls for chestnut flour, which is normally
only available at oriental markets. If you don't have it or can't find it, just
substitute regular flour. The dish won't be quite as good, but it's well worth
making it anyway.
You can serve it with any accompaniments you want. Shown
in the photo are deep fried lumpia (Philippine egg rolls) with some
sweet and sour dipping sauce. The lumpia
are available in most markets frozen and ready to cook, and of course you could
substitute egg rolls or won tons. The chicken is served over a bed of
rice, but you could also use noodles.
Crunchy noodles would be especially good.
Here are the three parts: marinate the chicken, cook the
chicken, and make the sauce.
Chicken of the Gods
2 to 3 pounds of boneless chicken pieces
8 ounces chestnut flour, or regular flour if necessary
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
dash of white pepper
Marinate the chicken in the marinade for 12-30 minutes.
Remove and coat each piece with the chestnut flour. Heat some vegetable oil in a
skillet and brown the chicken until done, about 10-15 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup cream
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
You can toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet or pan
for a few minutes until they start to brown and smell toasty. Put them aside for
garnishing the dish at the end.
In a sauce pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil,
Meanwhile, melt the butter in another sauce pan, add the flour, and cook while
stirring constantly until the flour begins to brown slightly. (This is making a
roux for thickening the sauce.) Add the hot chicken stock gradually, stirring
rapidly to incorporate it into the roux. Continue stirring until after all the
stock is added the sauce begins to thicken. After thickening, reduce the heat
and add the cream, salt, and pepper. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt and
pepper if needed.
Slice the chicken into neat slices and arrange them on
the plates or on a warm platter. Cover with the sauce and sprinkle with the
sesame seeds. Serve while warm!