Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What We are Eating - Double Crunch Orange Chicken

Double Crunch Orange Chicken
adapted from  Rock Recipes

A few weeks ago Darryl and I tried out this chicken recipe and we loved it.  Despite the list of ingredients, it's a very simple recipe to put together and, as long as the chicken is thin cut, it cooks up very quickly.  I served this with our favorite Fried Rice.  This recipe is actually in our menu again this week!

For the chicken
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • canola oil for frying
To make the egg wash
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp water
For the Orange Sauce
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • finely grated zest of one small orange
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes or 2 tsp crushed chili paste ( more or less to taste, use ¼ of this amount if you don’t like spicy sauces)
  • 1½ to 2 rounded tbsp corn starch
  • ¼ cup water
To prepare the chicken
  1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the meat to an even ½ inch thickness. Alternatively, you can slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage paprika and cayenne pepper. NOTE: This flour and spice dredge mix is sufficient for two batches of this chicken recipe. You can store the leftover mix in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for the next time you make this recipe...and there will be a next time.
  3. Make an egg wash by whisking together the eggs and water.
  4. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dip the meat in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the breast into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.
  5. Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4½ out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked breasts into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.
To make the orange sauce
  1. Begin by adding the garlic and oil to a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
  2. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic is softened but not browned, then add the remaining ingredients except the water and corn starch.
  3. Simmer together slowly for about 20 minutes or until the volume has reduced by about half. Skim off any film that may come to the surface.
  4. Mix together the corn starch and water.
  5. Pour slowly into the saucepan stirring constantly to thicken the sauce to a glaze-like consistency. You can use a little more or less cornstarch mixture to bring it to the consistency you want. Boil for only another minute and remove from the heat.
  6. Coat the chicken breasts with the sauce before serving. Serve with rice or noodles.