I absolutely love Chinese New Year. I find it incredibly exciting and totally mind blowing- the parades, the costumes, the food. It’s definitely my kind of hoo-ha. As the Year of the Dragon begins tomorrow at midnight, I thought no better way to spend my afternoon than making two of my favorite Americanized Chinese Dishes: Grilled Orange Chicken and Homemade Fortune Cookies.
I browsed a few recipes for this famous dish and came across a great one from PBS food (“orange peel shrimp” found here). I loved their addition of orange marmalade in the sauce- it really helps the thickening process and gives an out-of-this-world zing at the end. Additionally, I grilled the chicken as for those of us with weaker stomaches but I know this would also taste great with a little flour and oil, too.
Homemade Fortune Cookies you ask? Well yes, they happend but it wasn’t without a little elbow grease. While these little monsters didn’t turn out as crisp as professional cookies, they actually taste quite well and are very… exciting to make. (Secretly, I almost enjoy these more as simple, flat cookies upon trying a few in the rather large broken-reject pile.)
So there you have it! I have to say that, in the end, the best part of this dish was making the fortunes. Plus, friends, family, and roommates could always appreciate a good laugh.
Grilled Orange Chicken
Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 pound chicken breast pieces, diced
2 clove of garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
6 green onions
1/2 carrot, chopped (optional)
2 orange, zested and juiced
6 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1. Using olive oil, saute garlic, scallions, and carrots in a pan over medium-high heat for about two minutes.
2. Add orange juice, zest, soy sauce, and marmalade, stirring well to combine. Once bubbling, bring the temperature down to simmer.
3. Meanwhile, place chicken breast pieces on an outdoor grill, inside grill/press, or in a saute pan if you have neither, cooking for about 5 to 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. This will take a little less time using an inside grill press than an outdoor grill so keep a watchful eye.
4. When finished, add chicken to sauce and simmer for about five more minutes. Serve with brown rice and a fortune cookie on the side.
Yield: 6-8 cookies Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Write fortunes on strips of paper about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.
2. Beat the egg white, water, and vanilla until foamy but not stiff. Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and blend into the egg white mixture.
3. Place 3-4 teaspoonfuls of the batter on prepared cookie sheets, about four inches apart. Swirl the batter with the back of the spoon to yield a circle about 3 inches in diameter. As you can only bake 3 to 4 at a time, place remaining batter in the refrigerator until ready for its use.
4. Bake cookies for 5 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven.
5. Next, working quickly, remove a cookie from the pan using a spatula and place face down on a plate. Place the fortune in the center and fold the cookie in half. To make the signature shape, place the folded edge across the rim of a cup and pull the pointed edges down (one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside)
7. Place folded cookies into the cups of a muffin pan to hold their shape until firm. Repeat with remaining cookies.