Sunday, December 28, 2008

Orange Chicken

After growing up in a land where every menu includes Chicken Manchurian, Sweet Corn-Chicken soup and Chopsuey, the Chinese food here in the US was a little bit of a let down. Sitting in my sad little student apartment in Syracuse, I could only dream about having a piping hot bowl of sweet corn chicken at the Pune University fountain or a spicy plate of Chicken Manchurian at the Oriental Room on Karve Road. I did find some relief in form of Chinese food in the most unlikely of places, the Carousel Mall. A seven-floored eyesore with a footprint of a ceiling fan that contained pretty much every store that could ever come from America’s flyover zones. You could buy a Macbook, a Midor Saw and some sexy lingerie, all under one roof. The food court stood on second floor of the mall with an gigantic old carousel, thus the name. The food court included all of America’s greatest names in generic mall food. Not to mention that fine family restaurant of silicone fitted spandex dolls, Hooters. On my first visit to the food court, as I was glancing over the uninviting food options, I came across the Manchu Wok. One of their offerings was orange chicken, which didn’t exactly blow my mind, nor does it come close to a piece of dry Manchurian, but it is a fitting choice when your other options are tasteless chicken with snow peas.
2 boneless Chicken breasts chopped into small pieces (not minced chicken)
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour (Maida)
1/4 teaspoon MSG (Ajinomoto)
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 tsp Orange Zest
Oil for frying
1 tsp chopped Garlic
3 tsp chopped Scallion (Spring Onion)
1 chopped chili
For Sauce
1/4 tsp grated Ginger
1 tbsp Sugar
1/4 Cornflour
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 tbsp Orange Zest
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
3 tsp Butter
Mix flour, MSG, pepper and orange zest to 3/4th cup water and make it into a batter.
Add chicken and mix thoroughly
Heat oil in a wok and drop small dumpling sized balls of the battered chicken and fry till golden brown.
For sauce:
In a wok, melt the butter and add grated ginger and soya sauce
When the ginger sizzles add sugar, lemon juice and mix
Add orange juice and allow it to boil
Reduce the orange juice to 1/2 and add corn starch
Place aside

In a wok, take 1 tbsp of olive oil
Add garlic and chili
Add chicken balls and mix thoroughly
Add orange sauce and stir
Serve with brown rice.