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Stir Fry Dinner Menu: Orange Chicken and Broccoli

orange-chicken-dinner

I’m not big on deep frying anything, but I love orange chicken so I wanted to find a way to make it so it was still crisp without all the oil and breading. I found the perfect ingredient to produce that result: potato starch. I’ve been using it for a while now and it makes the most perfect Oven Baked Chicken – I’ve been substituting it for the bread crumbs, combining it with crushed rice chex – I’ll post an updated recipe on that technique this week.

I thought it might have the same effect on pan frying chicken pieces. It did. Crispy, light and flavorful. Of course top anything with enough orange sauce and I’m there.

On the board tonight:

  1. Pan-Fried Orange Chicken
  2. Rice or Rice Noodles
  3. Steamed Broccoli

orange-chicken

Pan-Fried Orange Chicken

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp sriracha or chili sauce (opt)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp corn starch

bowl

Mix together in bowl and set aside

Chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken boneless breast (or thighs), cut into large chunks
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 green onions, chopped – save 1 tbsp of chopped greens for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 tbsp oil (more as needed)

2 plates, skillet or wok

Add salt and pepper to potato starch. Drizzle a bit of oil over chicken pieces to coat. Dredge in potato starch mixture and move to clean plate. Finish all chicken before cooking.

I used to have a wok, but never got the results I wanted from it. Then I heard Ming Tsai discuss how a skillet works better in regular kitchens because a wok really needs a commercial heat source to get it hot enough to cook the way it is designed. Got rid of my wok and use my skillet now. So don’t feel you need a wok to stir-fry things.

Heat oil and add onions (whites and green) quickly stir until they have softened (about 1 minutes) and then add chicken pieces – one at a time so they all touch oil/skillet surface.  You may have to cook chicken in two batches depending on the size of your pan.

Fry until golden on one side, then flip to brown the other side.  Then I tossed it around a bit until it was golden on all sides.

If you cooked in two batches, remove first batch to clean plate and cook the second batch. Add all chicken back to pan, coat with Orange Sauce and toss until it’s all coated. Let sauce heat through thoroughly over low heat. Serve with rice (or noodles), garnish with sesame seeds and onion greens.



 

 

Chicken Dumplins

20161218_172312-1600x1200Mmm… and it’s not chicken and dumplings.  Boil a whole chicken with plenty of celery and onions and a carrot or two,  Add sprigs of thyme and rosemary, some black peppercorns and a dash of salt.  It takes an hour or so, longer and the chicken falls all apart later when you cook it again.  Discard all but the chicken and that lovely broth.  Pull the meat off the bones and save the bones for another stock. I use paper towels to take the fat off the surface of the broth.  Just lay them one at a time flat on the broth and they will soak it up.

The dumplins are simply made:  2 cups flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup shortening (I used lard in these), and 1/2 cup milk.  Knead until it’s one good clump and then roll thin (1/8″+-).  You may want to let it rest a bit if it resists rolling.  Cut into squares or triangles and let them air dry for 20 minutes or so lest they fall apart while cooking.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the dumplins a few at a time to keep the boil going, when they are all in (including those scraps that aren’t so pretty – they will help thicken) reduce to a simmer and add back the chicken.  (I added frozen peas at this point – optional.)  You can serve them when the dumplins are thick and soft.  They will taste better the next time, so make plenty!

Tidbits

20161120_1003181600x1200We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze.  The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time.  I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest.  The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing.  I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.img_20161119_112743_processedHere’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app.  It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.20161120_1635431600x1200Sammich pr0n!  This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to.  I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.20161118_1649221600x1200Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.20161119_1643391600x1200Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.img_20161119_112949_processedHere’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background.  And that tongue!  LOL20161116_1225541600x1200I had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day.  The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce.  Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup.  Ha Ha I meant to do that!

Tidbits

img_09931600x1200Here’s a photo from the archives.  I like the symmetry.20161112_1654231600x1200Kroger had a sale on strip steaks.  They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value.  I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours.  They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.20161115_1204201600x1200Sloppy joes for lunch the other day.  This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles.  The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning.  It adds a bit of a tang to it.20161111_163233-1600x1200BBQ chicken!  I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting.  I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting.  Set it to low and the default is four hours.20161116_0824161600x1200I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds.  It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:img_20161116_082932_processed

20161114_1131091600x1200Hot dogs!  I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side.  These are Pepperidge Farms brand.20161115_1712191600x1200I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.

Tidbits

20161110_1937411600x1200I’ll start this off with a pie than should have been great but ended up only fair to poor.  It’s a Brown Butter Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust.  Sound great!  It turned out to be a lot of effort for a disappointing result.  Mrs J swears that she will not try this one again.20161108_1511411600x1200This was a pretty good pie.  Somehow I got the water/flour ratio wrong on the dough – it ended up too wet and sticky.  I kneaded in more flour but gave up and poured it onto the pan.  It got an Awesome Sauce base for the mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and ham.20161106_1055061600x1200I broke out my slicer for that big sous vide tenderloin I did, and also sliced some ham.  Most of it I vac-sealed and froze but kept some out for my midwestern version of the classic Cubano sammich.20161031_1357191600x1200More chili!  This is about half chorizo and half ground beef. I don’t usually put sour cream on mine but many people do.  I can take it or leave it.  It does make for a pretty picture, so there’s that.20161103_1701261600x1200I used the slow cook feature on the toaster oven, they got 2 hours on high and some more time on the low setting because we weren’t quite ready to eat.  I used a flat lid for the shallow pan and it touched the chicken quarter, that’s the black patch on the thigh.  The rest was quite tender, the leg came off as I plated it.20161105_1206141600x1200Here’s another sammich made with the pork and ham I sliced.  I need to make more slaw, bake more beans, and make another potato salad.20161109_1619231600x1200Classic spaghetti with meat sauce.  When the pasta drained after cooking, instead of spooning some sauce into it I used half a stick of butter that I zapped in the microwave with several cloves of garlic.  Add a little Parmesan and you can eat it just like that but I like a nice meat sauce.  Mrs J isn’t fond of mushrooms so I sauteed a few to top my plate with as a garnish instead of mixing them into the sauce.dsc03224-1600x1200Here’s a few kittehs.

White Chicken Pizza!

20161028_1556201600x1200The white sauce was made with garlic infused butter and olive oil for the roux, stir in milk and whisk until it thickens then start adding cheeses.  This one has Monterey jack and Parmesan.20161028_1625291600x1200I have mozzarella string cheese rolled up inside the edge.  It was brushed with more of the garlic butter and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Dough for the crust was made yesterday, it proofed some then and spend the night in the fridge.20161028_1643271600x1200The crust isn’t a thin one, it’s more like bread than a limp cracker.  The recipe called for 3-1/2 cups of flour and would easily make enough for two.  That thick, chewy, mozzarella infused crust eats like one of those soft pretzels.20161028_1651181600x1200Mmm… pizza!  The white sauce is such a prominent part of the toppings that, compared to the usual profusion on my pizzas, chicken, broccoli, and red onions are deemed sufficient.20161028_1707091600x1200Caution!  Leftover zone!  I put this straight into the freezer and will bag the individual slices when they are frozen solid.  Remember to separate them on the tray so they are easy to remove.

Sous Vide Chicken

20161018_1656171600x1200Well, I have the gear so here I go with some chicken.  I generally like the recipes and methods developed by the folks over at Serious Eats so I let them guide my go at it.  I did leg quarters but I figured the technique would be the same.20161018_1607111600x1200The table says 1-4 hours at 165 degrees yields tender chicken, this batch went about 3-1/2 hours.  I think my next batch will spend much longer, 6-8 hours.  The chicken was done, certainly, but not “pull the leg bone right on out” done I hoped for.  I reduced the gelatin and juices from the chilled bag with white wine with good results.20161018_1656451600x1200I have to give a shout out to those potatoes, I par boiled them for a couple of minutes then finished them (after they cooled and were drained on a towel) in duck fat.  I added some chopped fresh rosemary to them for an added kick.

The sprouts and carrots were zapped for about three minutes, covered, in the microwave and then sauteed in oil with a balsamic glaze added at the end.

Roasted Mojo Chicken

20161016_1629581600x1200I still had mojo marinade on my mind today – I mixed up a small batch to marinate a couple of leg quarters.  Today’s was orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, fresh pressed garlic, oregano, ground cumin, olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  I let the chicken marinate for about three hours then placed it in an 8×8 baking pan covered with foil and put that into my toaster oven set at 325.  I left it for an hour, then baked it uncovered for another half hour with some of the marinade poured over it to reduce.

It was plated over a wild rice mix and served with blanched Brussels sprouts sauteed in duck fat.  Delicious!  The chicken was very lemony, but more than that, the cumin and oregano lent it earthy notes and the garlic went well with the rest.

Chicken Enchiladas in a Sour Cream Sauce

20160903_211747(1600x1200)We usually cook chicken enchiladas in a green sauce but this recipe caught my eye – it’s very nearly a chicken gravy with lots of sour cream.  Make a roux and stir in chicken broth, let it cook until thick and smooth then remove from the heat and whisk in sour cream and green chilies.  Pour the sauce over filled tortillas, top with more cheese, and bake at 400 for twenty minutes or so.  (I used the new toaster oven for these, it’s working well.)20160903_172302(1600x1200)The filling is chicken and onions fried together in a little oil, plus cheese.  The recipe called for flour tortillas so I used them rather than corn tortillas but those would have been fine.  The flour kind hold together much better.  We both liked the sauce a lot and will be doing it again.