Hot shots served with rice are a great favourite and make for one of the most delightful 'fun' meals. Crunchy golden chicken, drizzled with a spicy sauce and served over rice or with crispy fries. I believe they are named 'hot shots' for their spicy kick, but if you are preparing them for kids or people who cannot take spice, simply cut down or omit the chilli from this recipe OR go with my milder chicken nuggets recipe.
First, prepare the sauce. Heat the oil, then add the ginger and garlic pastes followed by the tomato paste. Stir for a bit on low heat and then add the chilli flakes, soy sauce, black pepper, sugar and ketchup. Mix together and allow to simmer on low heat. Add water to the consistency of your preference. Taste and adjust for salt if needed, but be careful as soy sauce is normally salty. Turn off the heat and set aside.
To make buttermilk at home, simply add 1 tbsp. lemon or vinegar in a cup of room temperature milk and let it stand 10-15 minutes, then stir and use. Alternatively, you can mix half cup yoghurt with half a cup of milk in place of the buttermilk. Do not omit this marination step as it helps flavour and tenderize the chicken.
Marinate the chicken cubes in the marinade ingredients overnight. When ready to fry, make sure they are at room temperature. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk marinade. Shake off the excess marinade.
Have 3 wide bowls or plates ready. Put the flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt and pepper in one plate and mix it up. In the second plate, beat the egg with 1 tbsp milk. Then put the crushed cornflakes or breadcrumbs in the third plate. Set aside.
First dust the chicken cubes in the seasoned flour. Then dip them in the egg and finally roll in the cornflakes or breadcrumbs. Set the coated chicken cubes on a plate while you heat your oil. Once hot, gently drop in the chicken cubes in batches (do not over-crowd the pan as this would lower the temperature of the oil and you will end up with soggy chicken instead of a crispy coating. They will take about 4 minutes to get cooked through depending on the size of the cubes.
Remove on to kitchen towels to drain excess oil and serve either over rice or fries. Drizzle some of the sauce and have some as a condiment on the side.