Succulent chicken thigh meat combined with the chilli and umami punch of XO sauce in a crispy golden wrapper makes these chicken XO spring rolls something you will fall in love with. And the truffle mash provides a wonderfully creamy counterpoint.
There is no shortage of spring roll recipes on delectabilia and each is very distinct. That is the beauty of spring rolls. This golden package can deliver such diverse taste sensations.
This recipe uses chicken thigh meat as it is much more tasty than chicken breast. But unless it is cooked correctly, chicken thigh meat can end up quite tough. To solve that problem, we cook the chicken in a sous vide bath. Serious Eats have a great article on cooking chicken thighs using sous vide. Their recommended temperature and time for “Very juicy and completely tender” was 74 degC for 1-4 hours. 74 degC for 3 hours produced amazingly tasty, tender, and succulent chicken thigh meat.
The XO Sauce
XO sauce is a Cantonese condiment originating in Hong Kong in the 1980’s. More a relish than a sauce, it was named after XO cognac, though it doesn’t contain any. In Hong Kong at the time, XO had become a generic term for high quality. This very tasty relish contains dried shrimps and scallops, red chillis, ham, garlic and canola oil. In short, a jam packed with umami.I bought my XO sauce from a local Cantonese restaurant. You will be able to find it at an Asian store. Or you could make your own.
While the chicken XO spring rolls tend to an Asian inspired flavour profile, the truffle infused potato mash is definitely Mediterranean. Yet they work so well together. To me the spring rolls brought to mind crispy roast chicken, which would of course be complemented by a potato mash.
Chicken XO spring rolls. Truffle infused mash
Chicken red pepper XO spring rolls
- 6 chicken legs about 2 cups cooked and deboned
- 1 large red pepper
- 2 Tbsp XO sauce
- 12 spring roll wrappers about 15cm square
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Oil for frying
- 5 medium sized potatoes Russet or Yukon Gold preferred
- 30 g butter unsalted
- 100 ml cooking cream
- 2 tsp truffle salt
- 1 Tbsp truffle oil
- 1 Tbsp diced truffle from truffle slices preserved in oil
Chicken red pepper XO spring rolls
- Sous vide the chicken legs at 74 °C for 3 hours. Alternatively, buy pre-roasted chicken legs.
- Rinse, halve, and remove pith from the red peppers.
- Roast the red peppers at 160 °C for 1 hour.
- While still hot, put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes. This makes it easier to remove the skins.
- Peel off the skins from the red pepper and dice into pieces of say… 20x5mm.
- Remove the skin from the chicken. Remove the chicken meat from the bones. Don’t waste the skin and bones. Make a chicken stock for use later.
- Dice the chicken pieces across the grain so that you pieces similar in size to the diced red pepper.
- Fold together the chicken, red pepper, and XO sauce.
- Mix the cornstarch with some water to form a paste.
- Wrap about 3 Tbsp of the mixture into each spring roll wrapper.
- Brush some cornstarch paste on the last corner to seal.
- Cover in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Heat cooking oil to 175 °C.
- Fry the spring rolls until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Peel the potatoes and dice into 2x2cm cubes
- Rinse under cold water.
- Add to a pot of cold water, together with a 1/2 Tbsp salt, and bring up to a boil.
- Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fork easily pierces the potato. Do not overcook.
- Drain and rinse again under hot water to remove any starch from the surfaces of the potato pieces. Allow to drain.
- To mash the potato, use a potato ricer or press through a sieve. This gives a much fluffier result compared with using a potato masher.
- Fold in the truffle salt and butter until melted and combined.
- Heat the cream in the microwave for 20 seconds then whisk into the potatoes, a Tbsp at a time.
- Fold in the truffle oil and diced truffle.
- Reheat the mashed potato in the microwave if necessary.
- Spoon some mashed potato on to the plate.
- Cut spring rolls in half at an angle.
- Lay on the potato.
- Serve with a green salad.