Sunday, February 7, 2010

Margie’s Kitchen in Boston - Sesame Chicken with Orange Sauce

Photos by Lena

While I am preparing a blog on places to eat in Boston, starting with the Freedom Trail, I thought I might blog about a variation on battered-fried cooking. In general my successes with battered fried food is quite frankly, pathetic. The batter usually falls off during the frying stage. The result ‒ a greasy mess. I’ve experimented with an alternative batter-like substitute that involves simply dredging chicken in flour (shake off excess), then dipping floured pieces into a batter made up of several beaten eggs. I use a wok and cook with a mixture of olive oil and cannoli oil on medium heat (preheat 5+ minutes).

For the sesame chicken I use chicken pieces the size of chicken tenders. When the oil is heated place several chicken pieces in the wok. Don’t overcrowd the pieces. I use about 1 ½ pounds of chicken which I split into three batches.
When each side is lightly browned (3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness of chicken tender piece), place on oven-proof flat dish lined with paper towel, drain, then place in low oven 150°. Don’t layer; use more than one plate.
As for the sesame in the chicken, brown about 3-6 Tablespoons of sesame seeds on foil in the toaster oven, or regular oven at around 385°. Be careful; they burn easily after 5 minutes. The rest of the recipe is fairly simple: make the sauce recipe below and serve with browned sesame seeds. The photo includes basmati rice and grilled red pepper slices.
A word of attribution on the sauce and the recipe. I am using a modified recipe from a renowned Pittsburgh chef and cooking instructor (now retired) Anna Kao. Her cookbook is a classic, and I would highly recommend it, although it is in short supply.
Orange Sauce from Classic Chinese Cooking by Anna Kao:
1 ¼ cups orange juice
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoons Cointreau
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Mix ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring until sauce thickens (88).


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