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Orange Chicken Kebabs With Fried Sticky Rice Balls

Orange chicken is always great, but it’s even better paired with sticky rice balls and fried to golden brown perfection. These skewers are great for dinner, or to pass around as a party snack. The marinade works double duty here — use half to flavor the chicken and reduce the other half to make a sticky glaze to brush over the finished kebabs.

by Tresha Lindo, Chris Salicrup and Andrew Pollock

Total Time

1 hr 30 min

1 hr 30 min

Prep Time

1 hr

1 hr

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

Total Time

1 hr 30 min

1 hr 30 min

Prep Time

1 hr

1 hr

Cook Time

30 minutes

30 min

Ingredients

for 10 kebabs

Orange Chicken

  • 1 cup
    orange juice (240 mL)
  • 1 cup
    chicken stock (240 mL)
  • 1 tablespoon
    orange zest
  • ¼ cup
    rice wine vinegar (60 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons
    soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons
    granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon
    garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon
    fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ lb
    boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½-inch (3 cm) cubes (680 g)
  • 8 cups
    vegetable oil (1.9 mL)
  • ⅓ cup
    corn starch, divided, plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch (40 g)
  • 1 tablespoon
    water
  • ⅓ cup
    all purpose flour (40 g)
  • 1 tablespoon
    kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons
    sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons
    scallions, thinly sliced

Sticky Rice Balls

  • 1 ½ cups
    sushi rice (300 g)
  • 2 cups
    water (480 mL)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons
    kosher salt

Special Equipment

  • 10 wooden skewers, 12 in (30 cm)

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Preparation

  1. Rinse the sushi rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear, then transfer to a medium bowl, cover with water, and soak for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
  2. While the rice is soaking, marinate the chicken: In a medium bowl, mix together the orange juice, chicken stock, orange zest, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. 3. Transfer half of the marinade to a large bowl, setting the rest aside.
  3. Add the chicken thighs to the large bowl of marinade. Toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
  4. Drain the rice, then add to a heavy-bottomed pot with the water and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. 6. Remove the pan from the heat, keeping covered, and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes. Let the rice cool to room temperature.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the rice into 20 1-inch (2 ½ cm) balls, then place on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 375°F (190°C). Set a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  8. Add the reserved marinade to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce by half, about 4 minutes.
  9. Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and the water in a small bowl, then add to the reduced marinade and whisk to combine, until the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside.
  10. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ⅓ cup (40 G) cornstarch, the flour, and salt.
  11. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the flour mixture. Toss until well coated.
  12. Leaving ½ inch (1 ¼ cm) of space at the top, alternately thread 2 rice balls and 2 pieces of chicken onto each skewer, allowing them to touch.
  13. Fry the skewers in the hot oil, a few at a time, for 4–5 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C). Transfer to the wire rack to drain. Brush the skewers with the sauce.
  14. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve warm.
  15. Enjoy!
 

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