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Paper Wrapped Chicken

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A popular banquet appetizer, paper wrapped chicken consists of marinated chicken that is wrapped in paper and cooked. While paper wrapped chicken is normally deep-fried, it can also be baked in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Yields 24 packages

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Marinade:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 slice ginger, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • Other:
  • 3 - 4 Chinese dried mushrooms, softened and thinly sliced (24 slices, 1 for each packet)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (2 - 3 slices for each packet) 
  • 24 sprigs cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 24 6-inch squares of cellophane paper, cooking parchment paper, or aluminum foil
  • peanut oil for deep-frying

Preparation:

Cut the chicken into thin slices roughly 2 1/2 inches long (to make 48 slices). Pound lightly on the back of the chicken to tenderize.

Combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. Add the mushrooms and green onions and marinate for another 15 minutes. (This allows the vegetables to absorb the marinade).

  To wrap the chicken: paper-wrapped chicken is normally wrapped envelope style. Take a square of paper and lay it out in front of you. Add 2 of the chicken slices, 1 slice of mushroom, 2 slices of green onion and a coriander sprig (if desired) in the middle, being sure to keep the filling in the center and not near the edges. Bring the bottom flap up over the chicken. Fold the right side over toward the middle, then the left side, so that one is overlapping the other. Fold the top flap down, tucking it inside the opening to seal the package. It is very important to make sure the packets are well sealed so that no oil seeps in.

   Heat wok and add oil for deep-frying. When the oil is ready, slide the packages in, about 6 at a time so as not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry the packets, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through (about 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Continue deep-frying the rest of the packets.

   Serve the chicken packets on a large platter, garnished with greens if desired. Guests can open the packets with either chopsticks or their fingers.

   (This recipe can be prepared ahead up to the deep-frying or baking stage and refrigerated or frozen. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.)  

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