Winters in Southern California are quite glorious. With a mild cool season and plenty of sunshine, we’ve hauled in a lot citrus this year. Sadly, while we’ve had a good run with them (crumb bars, duck breasts and winter salad), we’re down to our very last basket of mandarins.
Because we also had chilies and bok choy in the garden, it seemed like the proper thing to do was make something “Asian.” The initial thought was to create some sort of stir-fry with all three ingredients, but then the idea of doing an “orange chicken” hit: so mandarin chicken we made.
Mr. RGBistro thought it was a good lunch. There was just enough batter to soak up the sweet and sour tang, but not so much that the chicken could be drenched in oil. The mandarin, soy, ginger and garlic are all present, but not overwhelming. Unfortunately, our garden chilies didn’t pack (any) heat, so we’ll have to adjust (and maybe add cayenne) next time. Sautéing the bok choy in the pan after the chicken was done was a great way to scrape up the last of the mandarin chicken sauce. Best served over a piping bowl of jasmine rice.
So sad we’re out of these babies… and already looking forward to November.
What are you going to miss about winter?
Mandarin, Soy, Ginger and Garlic Chicken
~ Serves 2 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 2 small chicken breasts (yield ½ pound), cut into bite-sized chunks
- 5 dried red chilies (cut into 1 ½-inch length pieces, seeded and soaked in warm water)
- zest from 3 mandarins (yield 1 teaspoon)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 stalk scallion
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 quart canola oil for deep frying
- Orange Sauce:
- juice from 3 mandarins (yield ¼ juice)
- 3 tablespoons chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Salt to taste
- Frying Batter:
- ½ cup water
- 2 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 ounce corn starch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ egg
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
- Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Mix the frying batter and dip the chicken meat into the batter. Heat up a 5-quart pot with 1 quart canola oil. When the cooking oil reaches 350˚F (gauge with a candy thermometer), drop the chicken pieces, one at a time, into the oil, and deep fry them until they turn golden brown or crispy, about 2 minutes. Transfer them out onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- In a wok or 10” skillet, add 2 teaspoons of canola oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until aromatic. Add in the dried red chilies and toss around until you smell the spicy aroma. Follow by adding in the minced mandarin zest, then the chicken. Quickly stir the chicken around before adding the mandarin sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens. Dish out, garnish with the scallion threads and serve immediately.
Nutrition content per serving: 579 calories, 41g carbs, 47g protein, 26g fat, 4g fiber
Cost per serving: $2.30 – 3.82
Source: http://rasamalaysia.com/orange-chicken-recipe/ (Slightly adapted by the RGB to incorporate mandarins)