Jan 26

Happy Chinese New Year Double Lucky Gifts – Tangerine Peel Chicken and Easy Orange Applique

in Chicken/Poultry, Chinese, Fuji Craft, Main Course, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

Gung Hei Fat Choy Fujiland! It’s Jackie from The Kitchen Post and La Fuji Mama has asked me to share a little bit of Chinese New Year fun with you on this first day of the year of the Ox! I’m sure I can speak for all Fuji fans by wishing the Fuji’s good luck with bringing Fuji #2 into the world today!
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, begins on the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar.  Traditionally, it is a time of preparing one’s self, household, finances, etc., in such a way as to be rid of last year’s bad luck (via cleaning, getting haircuts, getting out of debt) and welcoming the good luck of the new year (new clothes, eating symbolic foods, celebrating with family and parades).  Whether you believe in the superstitions or not, I can say that the results from the above tasks would bring anyone double happiness!
It is common to give red envelopes containing “lucky” money to children and un-married youth for the new year.  But it is also common to exchange small gifts (food such as fruits, sweets, etc) when visiting relatives and friends at their homes.  Some common gifts to give are oranges and tangerines which are used as symbols of wealth and luck in part because they are China’s most plentiful fruit. These symbols are derived from a Chinese play on words where the word for tangerine sounds like the word ‘luck’ in Chinese and the word for orange has the same sound as ‘wealth’.  In addition, offering two tangerines is significant because the number two is a lucky number, making it double lucky!
I’m not the superstitious type but I’m also not one to break fun traditions!  What better timing than on this first day of the Spring Festival when we can celebrate new life and new beginnings for the Fuji Family! I know La Fuji Mama seems to have a great affinity for citrus (in all forms, truly), but really who doesn’t? So today, I bring to my hostess and to all of you two oranges of good luck: the first is an Orange or rather Tangerine Peel Chicken recipe I adapted from Martin Yan’s China which uses two types of citrus (orange and tangerine),
and the second is a quick baby and new big sister gift for the Fuji babes, double orange onesie and T-shirt and baby burpcloth inspired by the tutorial given by Martha Stewart with BellaBlu Designs

Orange Chicken seems to be a popular Chinese dish but what sets this recipe apart from others is the use of fresh peel and tangerine segments as well as orange juice in the sauce, giving a very fresh, full, and lively taste!  I also like the fried chicken that is more chicken than batter, a flourless batter that provides a crispy coat, and stores better if you happen to have leftovers (which I doubt). Adjust the number of chiles used or don’t eat them at all if you can’t handle that extra kick like LFM and I enjoy!

Tangerine Peel Chicken

Serves 4
modified from Martin Yan’s China, 2008, p.179

2 tangerines
1 egg white, beaten
2Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. Chinese rice wine, dry sherry, or chicken stock
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Chinese rice wine, dry sherry, or chicken stock
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

Vegetable oil for deep-frying8 dried red chiles
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp. water
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1. Slice off the ends of the tangerines with a knife, hold the fruit with one cut side on the board, and slice downward from top to bottom to remove the peel in strips, working your way around the fruit.  Cut deeply enough to remove the white pith.  Now turn the tangerine on its side horizontally and cut toward the center of the fruit along each membrane.  Slice the fruit segment while leaving the membranes intact.  Cut away the white pith from half of the tangerine peels and cut the peels into long, narrow strips.  Place the fruit and peels in 2 separate bowls and set aside.
2. To make the marinade, combine the egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, salt, and white pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.  Add the chicken and stir to coat evenly.  Let stand for 10 minutes.
3. In a 2-quart saucepan, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.  Lift the chicken from the marinade, drain briefly, and fry, a few pieces at a time, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per batch.  Remove with a wire strainer or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve the oil.
4. Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat until hot.  Add 1 Tbsp. of the reserved oil, swirling to coat the sides.  Add the chiles and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the green onions, yellow onion, and the fresh tangerine peels (reserve some peels for garnish if desired); stir-fry until the onions soften, about 1 minute.
5. To make the sauce, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and white pepper in a small pot and stir until the sugar dissolves. Heat to boiling and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture to thicken.
6. Place chicken and tangerine segments on a serving plate.  Spread stir-fried chiles, veggies, and peels on top.  Poor sauce over all but do not stir it in.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and garnish with reserved peels.  Serve with hot jasmine rice.

Easy Orange Applique

Tools and Materials
clip art/photo/silhouette of desired shape printed on cardstock and enlarged to desired size
Sewing machine
Damp, clean cloth
Patterned fabric, two orange and one green
Trans-Web or other fusible webbing on release paper
Black pen
Blank baby onesie, cloth diaper, or T-shirt
Machine-sewing thread in a coordinating color for topstitch
Hand-sewing needle 

1. Cut the silhouette from the card stock.
2. Prewash the onesie, cloth diaper, T-shirt, and fabric for your applique to reduce shrinkage.
3. Cut a square or rectangular piece from the fabric approximately 7 inches square.
4. Cut a piece of Trans-Web slightly smaller than your fabric square.
5. Using an iron on the wool setting, iron the Trans-Web onto the back of the fabric; the rough side of the Trans-Web should be facing the wrong side of the fabric. Allow the paper-backed fabric to cool.
6. Using a black pen, trace the silhouette onto the Trans-Web paper backing.
7. Cut out the silhouette from the paper-backed fabric.
8. Peel the paper backing from the applique to expose the iron-on webbing.
9. Position the applique, fabric side up, onto the blank onesie/cloth diaper/T-shirt. Make sure the applique is positioned above the waistline, so the full silhouette will be visible if the baby is wearing pants.
10. Lay a damp cloth over the applique and iron with steam for 10 seconds.
11. Once the applique is fused to the onesie/cloth diaper/T-shirt, use coordinating thread and a simple straight or zigzag stitch on your machine to sew around the edge of the applique (I recommend straight if using smaller applique pieces).
14. Once you’ve sewn around the entire silhouette, tuck the thread tail back under the stitches by hand with a needle to ensure threads are secure.
Check out Martha Stewart for a video tutorial – I just applied the technique to a different shape and theme and I had fun doing it! Hope they fit!  I’ll get it off in the mail to you this week Fuji Mama!IMG_4627
Well that’s it everyone!  You are welcome to check us out anytime at The Kitchen Post, especially if you are looking for more orange gift ideas!  Have a prosperous and “fruitful” year!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

MomChops January 26, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Fuji and Jackie: A wonderful recipe, I can hardly wait to make this one! Happy New Year to you both as well.
The directions for the the Orange Applique is fabulous (oh Dear Martha) and really adorable as well. And for those who do not have children, this would make an adorable kitchen towel or adult t-shirt!


Jackie January 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Aha! I love the extra ideas for the applique! Maybe I shoulda made a family matching set huh? :) These would also be fun on tote bags, napkins, placemats, tablecloths, and and and… You sure opened up my mind there MomChops!


Bob January 26, 2009 at 2:58 pm

That chicken looks wicked good. I’m copying it to my to-make file. ;)


Nate-n-Annie January 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Delicious looking dish.

Happy Niu Year!


LollyChops January 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Fuji told me about this recipe Jackie and she was totally right! It looks DEE-LISH! I was talking with MomChops on the phone when she was reading it through and we have a trip to the market planned for this weekend to get some of the ingredients!

Thanks for the fabulous crafty tut too! You are totally amazing!



Joie de vivre January 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Good luck Fuji Mama birthing your little one. I’ll pray all will go well for you and baby.


The Food Librarian January 26, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Happy New Year! Everything looks yummy and cute. Your little ox will be well dressed.


heidileon January 27, 2009 at 2:51 am

Fuji Mama and JAckie:Xin Nian Kuai Le!! Happy Lunar New Year!

I’m sure Fuji girl is so happy to have you helping her with this wonderful recipe Jackie, I already checked your blog and add to my favs.

Best wishes to all fuji readers!

Heidi Leon


Draffin Bears January 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Happy New Year La Fuji Mama.
I enjoyed visiting your blog, all the yummy food and the screen printing project.

Your little girl is very sweet.
I hope that all will go well for your new baby.


ps. Many thanks fro visiting my blog and wishing me a happy Anniversary – Much appreciated.


Satsuki Rebel January 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Darn it all, I KNEW I should have rechecked the blogs before I went out for the new year. I had wanted to give a red envelope to my SO's mum but then rethought it considering she's married. I could have brought oranges. >_< Oh well, next year.

(My SO isn't up on tradition so he couldn't exactly help me either.)


Fuji Mama's Mama February 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm

We have navel orange and mandarin trees in our yard and LOVE anything with orange as an ingredient or decorated with oranges. That gorgeous picture of your tangerine chicken has me on the way to the kitchen, and I think Baby Fuji might have to have an orange onesie. Thank you, Jackie! (BTW, FujiMama says you are an incredible cook, so I know this is going to be tasty.)


Calogero January 23, 2012 at 8:55 am

I like tangerines very much :-).


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