Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mr. Hawthorne And Rosie Make Lemon Chicken.

 Mr. Hawthorne and I get inspiration
for our meals from many sources.
Recently, while on a trip to the Nags Lion Food Lion,
we dropped in to the newly re-opened China Mac.
I've never known a Chinese restaurant to close for anything.
But this particular one, 
in a shopping center with a Food Lion,
a Pizzazz Pizza, and a Subway,
along with Front Porch Coffee,
"closed for the season."
As in winter.

I'll never understand this.

The Hawthornes have been known to order
Chinese for Christmas lunch!
So's I don't know why they'd close for the locals.

I was going somewhere with this.

Oh yes.

Mr. Hawthorne got his mojo at the China Mac.

 After we'd gone to Food Lion,
he came back to the truck carrying a China Mac bag
of something we'd never tried before - Lemon Chicken.

Mr. H.:  "I'm gonna stop here whenever I want
and get something different every time.
See if I like it."

We liked it.
We're making it.
But not.
We're making it Hawthorne style.

 When the Hawthornes were at Food Lion,
we found chicken bosoms, bone-in, for $1.00/pound.
I skinned and boned them, saving the goodies for stock,
then sliced them into about 1 x 4-inch strips.
We let them soak in buttermilk and Texas Pete.

These were tossed in a mixture of 
2 parts flour,
1 part cornstarch, 
hot paprika,
 freshly ground salt and pepper.
Mr. Hawthorne brought peanut oil to 350°.
Or thereabouts.

Remember how I always tell you not to crowd the pan?
This is why.
Look at the temperature.
After four chicken strips in the oil,
one at a time,
the temp is down.

Keep it hot and don't crowd.
That's the key to frying.

These took about five minutes.

We learned throughout the frying process,
that the more batches we did,
the shorter the cooking time.
The volume of oil decreases as you cook.
The oil retains the heat and stays hotter.
Cooking time decreases.

This is Rosie's Lemon Sauce:
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
1 cup chicken broth/stock/consommé
1 TB rice vinegar
1 TB corn syrup
1-inch knob of ginger, nuked and juiced
1/4 tsp minced ginger
2 TB sugar
1 TB cornstarch
pinch salt

Nuke the cube of ginger for about 25 seconds.
Squeeze to juice.
Mince about 1/4 teaspoon of the ginger into the sauce
and drop the remaining knob in the mixture for flavor.

Mix all ingredients.
Heat, stirring, until sauce thickens.

Serve warm.

Youngest Hawthorne gave me that elephant.
Two Christmases ago..

I have Counter Candy!

Back to lunch.

Crisp, light batter.
Juicy, tender meat.

 I offered a blind tasting for my lemon sauce
and the pale, soul-less lemon sauce from ChinaMac.

Now, for those sauces.
Mine is on the left.
ChinaMac's on the right.
Mine is lemony with just enough ginger 
to make it interesting. 
A bit on the tart side, like me.

The ChinaMac one doesn't have much flavor.
Tasted like  powdered sugar and cornstarch to me.

This was really good!

Next, I might make an orange chicken.


Marilyn said...

That does look delicious. Lemon turkey... hmm.

Marilyn said...

I love your flowers.

Your tale of your sauce vs the China Mac's sauce reminds me of my frustration of when I taste commercially bottles BBQ sauces and how they are so one-dimensional compared to my BBQ sauce.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

No comparison in the sauces, Mar.

Mel said...

Just curious, do you peel the ginger before you freeze it? Do you think it matters? I'm new to fresh ginger and I have about a half hand that needs to be frozen soon. I like your way of "juicing it" as opposed to grating/chopping. I think my family would be happier with that. I'm pretty sure I would. TIA

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mel, cut your ginger into 1-inch knobs and don't bother to peel them.
When you need ginger juice, nuke the frozen piece for about 20 secs then you can squeeze with thumb and forefinger.