Next, we get the chicken ready. We rinse and pat dry the chicken cutlets, and cut each lengthwise into 4 strips. We put them into the bag and mix to coat well. We wash our hands and the cutting board area and place the bag of chicken on a plate and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Right before we want to fry, we mix the water, chicken stock, vinegar, dark soy sauce, the rest of the sesame oil, last garlic clove, and a star anise point in a measuring cup. We put the rest of the cornstarch (2 tablespoons) in a small pot, mix in the liquid from the measuring cup with our flat whisk and add the sugar. We heat over medium heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. We then lower the heat to a bare simmer to keep warm, stirring occasionally.
We begin heating our large deep pot over medium heat. We add the sesame seeds and dry toast them for just a few minutes until fragrant and the white seeds are turning golden. We spread them out on a plate to cool.
In the same pan, we heat ¼ inch of oil for pan-frying over medium heat. We remove the chicken from the fridge, and pat the pieces dry with paper towels. We discard the bag and the marinade. When the oil is hot, (we test this using the back of a wooden spoon – it’s hot when bubbles surround it quickly), we add the chicken in 2 batches. We cook each batch for about 2 minutes, turn with tongs, and cook another couple of minutes until browned and cooked through. We drain the cooked chicken on a clean, paper towel lined plate.
When all the chicken is cooked, we transfer it to a serving bowl. We bring the sauce back to a boil, remove the garlic and star anise point, pour over the chicken and garnish with the sesame seeds.