Meeting someone just once can leave an indelible impression. Such was the case when Joan Nathan appeared at Wegmans in Nassau Park in 2000. I interviewed her by phone before her appearance for an article, and then sat in on her appearance. She was gracious and friendly, and to this day I avidly read her columns in the New York Times and anywhere else I come across them. Her classic Jewish Cooking in America had been released in 1998, and I’ve continued to draw on my copy for recipe columns ever since. (The book has been updated at least once since then.)
Happy New Year and here’s a Joan Nathan recipe for Honey Orange Chicken from another of her books that I came across online.
I found (and further adapted) this recipe on http://toriavey.com (The Shiksa in the Kitchen!), where it was adapted from Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook, Schocken (2004). Direct link to recipe on the post is here.
Joan Nathan’s Honey Orange Chicken
2 teaspoons water
1 cup breadcrumbs or matzo meal (or use panko, but use 1 1/2 cups then)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 pounds cut up chicken pieces
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot water
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger, or 3/4 tsp ground ginger, or to taste
Fresh orange wedges for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs with 2 teaspoons of water in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs or matzo meal with the salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture to coat.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet and brown the chicken on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
Whisk together hot water, orange juice, honey and ginger in a bowl.
Place the chicken in a lightly greased roasting pan or a large casserole. Cover the chicken evenly with the honey orange liquid. (Pour gently so as not to disturb the breadcrumbs on the chicken pieces.)
Cover the dish with foil and let it roast in the oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Uncover the dish after 45 minutes and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Let the chicken continue to roast for 10-20 minutes longer, basting every few minutes, till the skin is browned to your liking.
Serve on a platter garnished with fresh orange wedges, if desired. Joan recommends serving with rice and a tossed green salad.