Recipe: The Citrus Kick of Chinese Orange Chicken Drum Lollies
I have a confession.
My favorite Chinese Orange Chicken is from Panda Express®. But, if I really want to treat myself, I make Chinese Orange Chicken Drum Lollies, using my favorite recipe by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt via Serious Eats. At home, it can be really hard to achieve a crunchy coating that can handle the sauce. Kenji’s trick of adding marinade to the dry coating to create clumps really works. You can zest the orange with a fine grater but if you have the time, I personally recommend slicing off the peel along the pith with a paring knife. With the peel side down, scrape the rest of the pith off with a horizontal cut, then julienne and mince the peel with a chef's knife. For me, the extra flavor is absolutely worth all the trouble, but also, I am the world’s slowest home cook.*
If you can get your hands on some EZ WINGS Drum Lollies, you should make this.
*Disclaimer: I am not a professional chef. I just love food.
For the Marinade:
1 egg white
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons vodka
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 pounds EZ WINGS Drum Lollies
For the Dry Coating:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons minced zest and 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 scallion, bottom minced and top thinly sliced (for garnish)
1 1/2 quarts peanut, canola, or vegetable oil for deep-frying
Steamed white or brown rice
The marinade: Beat egg white in a large bowl until broken down and lightly foamy. Add soy sauce, rice wine, and vodka and whisk to combine. Reserve half of marinade in a separate, small bowl. Add baking soda and corn starch to the large bowl and whisk to combine. Add EZ WINGS Drum Lollies to the marinade and set aside.
The dry coating: Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Add reserved marinade and whisk until mixture has coarse clumps.
The sauce: Combine soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, chicken broth, sugar, sesame seed oil, orange zest, orange juice, and corn starch and stir with a fork until corn starch is fully dissolved. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add oil, garlic, ginger, and minced scallion. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir sauce mixture well and add to saucepan. Simmer sauce, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Heat 1 1/2 quarts oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to 350°F (or fill deep-fryer with oil to required line).
Holding on to the bone, roll each EZ WINGS Drum Lollie into the dry coating, pressing the clumps against the wing meat. Use a fork to toss the coating if it needs to be remixed.
Use a metal spider to lower small batches of EZ WINGS Drum Lollies into the hot oil. Cook until very crispy and internal temperature is 165°F, at least 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray.
When EZ WINGS Drum Lollies are cool enough to hold by the bone, dip and swirl in the sauce (gently heated to warm, if necessary). Serve immediately with rice and garnish with sliced scallion.