I’ve been loving the switch-over to WordPress. It’s such a happy community of like minded people doing amazing things. I’m also quite impressed with the Foodie Blogroll community (notice the new widget!) — one of the advantages is the number of blogs on display everyday. I chanced upon Daring Gourmet this way and I was in awe! She tries all things new and makes it look effortless! Any kind of cuisine you mention, it’s there! Yesterday, I tried her Orange Chicken. I was floored. Generally, I stay away from attempting chinese at home because I love chinese food! If I can’t recreate it exactly to my taste, then its disheartening, to say the least. Orange chicken was the exception.
The marinade is exceptional! The technique is called ‘velveting’ and it sincerely coats the chicken like velvet! It ensured that the chicken remained soft and flavorful — just amazing! I didn’t follow the measurements exactly because I like that cooking doesn’t need you to be too precise. I used the recipe as a blueprint and adjusted according to taste after. I also made mine more soupy — a preference of mine. Here, I’m giving the recipe exactly as Daring Gourmet’s. For detailed pictures and a vegetarian substitution, head on over to her site!
Source: Daring Gourmet
For the marinade:
2 chicken breast pieces, deboned and cut into thin strips
2 egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sherry/rice vinegar (I used apple juice – works wonderfully to provide the same sweetness as sherry)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups strong chicken broth (alternatively – 1 stock cube crumbled into 1 1/2 cups of hot water)
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbs fresh orange juice
1 tbs orange zest
2 1/2 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (I just used a handful of brown sugar and skipped granulated entirely)
2 red chilies, broken and deseeded (or 1/4 tsp red paprika flakes)
3 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup onions, chopped (I skipped this – used spring onions for garnish)
Salt and white pepper powder, to tatse
1. Coat the chicken with all ingredients for the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Heat a seasoned wok with some sesame or peanut oil – drain excess marinade from the chicken (or the egg whites will scramble and burn!) and toss till nearly done – about 8 – 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
3. In the same wok, add a little more sesame oil if required and ginger, garlic, chilies, sugar, stock, orange juice, zest, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the chicken. Toss to coat and let it simmer till the chicken is completely cooked. Adjust seasoning if required. If serving immediately, in a small mug, mix cornstarch and water together and pour into sauce. Cook on low heat for a few minutes till it thickens. If not, then turn off the flame after seasoning and add cornstarch + water a few minutes before serving, while re-heating.
4. Garnish with spring onions (even sesame seeds!) and serve hot!