I must've been a VERY good girl. Why? I got THE blog I wanted for Secret Recipe Club. You read that right THE blog I wanted. Last month, The Kitchen Witch got me. She said we shared the same tastebuds. She was SO right. Life was insane (ok, it's been totally insane for years!) and I didn't get a comment to her. Then, I got my Secret Recipe Club assignment. Whoop, Whoop! I now had an excuse to blow two hours reading a blog I wanted to read. REALLY wanted to read. Giggles is so right. We do share the same taste buds. We both love citrus. We're both adventurous eaters. So incredibly much fun to read her blog. I felt like I was curled up in the cabin of my dreams just relaxing and reading. Oh, and drooling :-)
So, what to make? Guiness Irish lamb stew? Marjitos? Candied orange olive oil cake? Lemon ginger elixir? Orange chicken? Did you notice how many have citrus? Yeah, me too. And, there are plenty more. Oodles to be specific - lol. Orange chicken it was. If I was going to get this made in time, one of us needed to run to the store the evening before our cooking adventure. I was going to be working in my Columbus, IN office so knew I'd be home late. Connie got the grocery list that I'd left on the counter. He got home from the grocery and got busy getting ready for our grandkids to visit. About 2am he flew out of bed. I heard the alarm being shut off then the back door opened then a racket in the kitchen. It was one of those you are better off waiting it out than getting in the middle of it deals. I waited. Upstairs he trudged. So, what happened? He says, "I never took the groceries out of the trunk." Ok, so we had rotten chicken. Fine, we'd stop on the way home from the office the next evening. Except when we left the office the rain was pouring. A bar of soap in the back yard and I'd have been able to take a shower! We got drenched just going to the car. At that point I made an executive decision. Giggle's orange chicken would be just fine with shrimp. And, you know what? It was. We loved it. I wouldn't have changed a thing. Now, I'll know I can make it with either shrimp or chicken and it'll be great.
Before I show you the recipe, here are a few of the photos of the epic water balloon fight Grampie had with Bradley and Rosie. Daddy David sat in a safe zone making the water balloons. He was also in charge of dousing anyone who didn't follow the rules. Mostly Grampie who kept forgetting to go back to his safe zone after throwing a balloon. Mommy Kara and I sat in another safe zone with our cameras. We were dubbed the historians. And, yes, that's our herb garden behind Kara.
for the chicken:
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cubed (I substituted shrimp)
1 T water
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c cornstarch
1/4 c flour
peanut oil for deep frying
for the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 t crushed red pepper
4 green onions sliced, white and green parts separated
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 1/3 c orange juice
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 T soy sauce
2/3 c orange marmalade
This recipe comes together very quickly so you really want to have everything set up and ready to go. Your mis en place. You'll need two bowls for the sauce ingredients. Put the garlic, ginger, red pepper and whites of the green onions in one.
The balance of the sauce ingredients go in the other. Start with the cornstarch and rice wine vinegar. Stir them into a slurry then add the other ingredients.
Then set up two wide, shallow bowls (think pasta bowls) for the chicken or shrimp dipping. In one, put the egg and water. In the other, mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
This is where you can add other seasonings if you'd like. I thought about adding some Asian seasonings but decided to try that next time. Put a smallish skillet on the stove with about a tablespoon of oil in it. Last, but not least, pour peanut oil (I used vegetable oil because that's what we had on hand) about 1" deep in a wide skillet. Now, Giggles recipe called for a wok or a deep fryer. I like the skillet because it gives me more control over turning the protein to make sure both sides get browned. If you've got a deep fryer and want to use it, that way you can get both sides brown at once... Turn the heat on under the small skillet. You want to use medium heat. Heat the oil to about 350. Now, you're ready to get going.
Dunk a handful of the protein in the egg wash.
Then, toss it in the cornstarch/flour mixture. Put it in the hot oil in the big skillet.
Put the garlic/ginger mixture in the small skillet. Once it's sizzling, slowly stir in the orange juice mixture.
Stir this occasionally. Turn the protein if you need to get both sides brown. The crust will be nice and shatter thanks to the cornstarch. Drain on paper towels. Once all the protein is done and drained, toss it with the sauce and serve over rice.
Top with a scattering of the green onion tops.