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Orange Chicken

By: 
Tina Wasserman
orange chicken
orange chicken

No orange juice in here, just zest, but since there were Jews in China on and off for over a thousand years, and since this dish is so popular in restaurants, I am including this authentic recipe that just so happens to be kosher!

Makes 2 to 3 servings or 4-5 if part of a full Chinese meal with multiple entrees
Ingredients: 
1/2 pound chicken, thinly sliced into 1 × 2 × 1/8-inch pieces
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MARINADE:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons cream sherry
1 egg white
Pinch of pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
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GARLIC-ORANGE PEEL MIXTURE:
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 pieces of hot dried red pepper
8 pieces of fresh or dried orange peel (1 × 1 inch)
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SHERRY-CHILI PASTE MIXTURE:
1 tablespoon cream sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste (available in Asian food section of store)
2 tablespoons sugar
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TO FRY AND SERVE:
2 cups oil
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame seed oil
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Directions: 
  1. Marinate the chicken in the first five ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Combine the ginger, garlic, dried peppers, and orange peel. Set aside.
  3. Combine the remaining sherry, soy sauce, chili paste, and sugar.
  4. Heat the 2 cups of oil in a wok until oil begins to shimmer, just before it begins to smoke. Add the chicken in one or two batches, and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Remove to a platter.
  5. Heat a clean wok for 20 seconds, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Swirl the oil about in the pan and heat for 15 seconds. Add the garlic-orange peel mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Return the meat to the wok and then add the sherry-chili paste mixture. Stir-fry until all the moisture is evaporated, and add the sesame seed oil. Serve immediately.
Tina's Tidbits: 

  • Coating meat with egg white and cornstarch gives the texture of a subtly breaded food without the breading.
  • I prefer to use cream sherry for cooking because the flavor doesn’t dissipate when food is cooked over high heat.
  • Use an inexpensive steel wok for many types of cooking. It does not require major scouring, and the shape of the wok promotes faster cooking because all sides as well as the bottom are your cooking surface.
  • Chinese sesame seed oil is not tahini. This is dark clear oil from black sesame seeds.
  • Almost all authentic Chinese recipes are adaptable to a kosher kitchen because they don’t use milk products and rarely use smoked pork. Veal is a perfect substitute for pork, mimicking the color and texture perfectly.
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