Velveting in oil makes the coating lustrous and prevents lumping. It also eliminates the mealiness of cornstarch. Make sure the wok or skillet is very hot before the oil goes in, so that the coated chicken does not stick to the pan. However, the oil should not be hot, or it will toughen the chicken.
Make sure you have everything assembled, because the meat cooks very quickly. Gather your wok, or deep pan on the stove, put your strainer over a small pot, and a pair of chopstickes, wooden spoon, spider, or spatula. SMART TIP- Don't use sharp tools such as a fork for turning the meat in the oil, because this could cause the oil to splatter.
Heat the wok or pot over high heat until very hot. Then, turn the heat to medium, add 2 cups of oil and heat for only 40 seconds until it is warm, about 275 degrees, or until it foams a cube of bread very slowly.
Give the coated chicken a big stir and scatter in the pieces quickly but gently stir them to separate them. The oil should cover every piece.
Lower the heat immediately if the chicken begins to sizzle; hot oil will make the velvet chicken hard and yellow.
When the meat turns white, in only about 30 to 45 seconds, immediately pour both the chicken and oil into a strainer, reserving the oil. Or, take the chicken out with a spider into your strainer.
The chicken pieces will still be pink inside, as they will be used in a stir-fry to complete the cooking. DO NOT EAT THE MEAT UNTIL IT IS COMPLETELY COOKED AFTER STIR-FRYING