Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday I made Orange Chicken. I got this recipe from reading Annie-Eats. As you've probably guessed I looked through her site one day and wrote down tons of recipes that I wanted to try out. I'm pretty impressed with everything I've made so far inspired from Annie's site and this was no exception. On the rare occasion that I eat Chinese food, Orange Chicken is one of my favorite dishes. I love the crispy skin and the sweet orange tang to it. I made this with jasmine rice and broccoli. This is a MUST TRY. So good, and really wasn't hard a all!

Orange Chicken
For the marinade and sauce:
1 ½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1 ½” pieces
¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I just used regular orange juice out of a carton)
1 ½ tsp. grated orange zest
8 thin strips orange peel (optional) (I skipped this)
6 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
For coating and frying:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1.5 cups or canola oil (this is where I saved some fat, the original recipe called for 3 cups!)
For the marinade and sauce, place the chicken in a Ziploc bag; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper; whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and pour it into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer. Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water; whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel (if using); set the sauce aside. For the coating, place the egg whites in a plate and beat with a fork until frothy. In a second plate, whisk together the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne until combined. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the dredged chicken pieces on another plate or a baking sheet. To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a sauté pan with at least 3 qt. capacity over high heat until the oil reaches 350° on an instant read or deep fry thermometer ( I cheat and do something Rachael Ray taught me... take your wooden spoon and turn it around to the long side... deep it in oil, when it starts to make bubbles all around it, the oil is hot enough). Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Return the oil to 350° and repeat with the remaining chicken. To serve, reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmering, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve with rice and broccoli.

Okay on to workouts:
I think I last wrote about last Wed... so I will start from a week ago today.
Thursday 12/17: Muscle Conditioning
Friday 12/18: Ran 4 miles
Saturday 12/19 & Sunday 12/20: off
Monday 12/21: Ran 5 miles (hardest five miles of my life, had to walk a little after every mile- I just keep having pain in my hip...)
Tuesday 12/22: Ran 3 miles (felt easy!) then Bootcamp (sub instructor, wasn't a fan, ended up walking out early...)
Wed 12/23: off
Thursday 12/24: Ran 4 painful miles on the treadmill in 41 minutes. Yep you read that right. I used to be able to run 5 in 38 but I just did 4 in 41. I had to walk quite a bit again. Then I lifted legs.

Tomorrow, I'll try to get out for a short run with Dave but not sure if we will have time. Then Saturday is supposed to be my first run with the new running club. Problem is they are planning on running 10 and I'm a little worried I won't be able to hang. Hopefully I won't chicken out. We'll see!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Off to celebrate!

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