2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch-long pieces (chicken thigh works too)
1 red bell pepper, OR 1 sweet red pepper
1/4 cup oil for pan-frying
1 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour) mixed with 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh coriander
Optional: extra 1/2 to 1 mango, cut into chunks (to finish the dish)
Optional: 3-4 Tbsp. coconut milk OR water
2 fresh ripe mangos, fruit scooped out (or substitute 2 cups frozen or canned mango)
1 red chili, de-seeded and diced, OR 1 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (OR white or apple cider)
1+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. turmeric
2 kaffir lime leaves, snipped into slivers with scissors (discard stem & central vein), OR zest of 1 lime
How to make Chicken with Mango Sauce:
Place all ‘Mango Sauce’ ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process well, until more or less smooth.
Taste-test the sauce. The goal is to reach a balance of sweet, sour, spicy, and salty. Add more sugar if you find the sauce too sour (this will depend on the sweetness of your mangoes). If not spicy enough, add more chili. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce. If too salty or too sweet, add more lime juice. Set aside.
Stir the flour and salt together and place in a mixing-type bowl. Add the chicken pieces and turn or gently stir them to coat.
Heat a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then begin frying the chicken pieces. Fry 3-5 minutes per side, or until light golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set on paper towel, or a clean surface.
Wash out the wok/frying pan, or use another (clean) one. Set over medium-high heat and add the mango sauce plus red pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer (medium to low heat). If sauce becomes too thick, add 3-4 Tbsp. water or coconut milk. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until pepper has softened slightly but still retains some crispness.
Add the fried chicken pieces, gently stirring them in to cover with sauce. If desired, add chunks of mango (fruit of 1/2 to 1 ripe mango) too. Simmer briefly, just until everything is hot.
Do a final taste-test for salt (tasting the sauce together with the chicken). Add a little more fish sauce or chili if desired.
Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice. Or, for an extra special treat, with my Easy Coconut Rice.