Fried Calamari with Sweet Orange Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Sweet Orange Sauce:

2 cups orange juice

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley 

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Fried Calamari:

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound small squid bodies and tentacles, bodies cut into 1/3-inch-thick rounds

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Orange and lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Special equipment:
a deep-frying thermometer
  1. For the sweet orange sauce: Combine the orange juice and honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and cook at a very brisk simmer until the mixture is syrupy and reduced to a little less than 1/2 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the oil, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper. Transfer to a ramekin or small bowl.
  2. For the fried calamari: Fill a large, wide pot with 1 1/2 inches oil and heat over medium-high heat until it registers 350 degrees F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a tray with paper towels. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. 
  3. Toss the squid and chiles with the flour mixture, making sure all the squid rings are separated and everything is thoroughly coated. Transfer about a third of the squid and chile mixture to a kitchen spider or slotted spoon and shake to remove the excess flour. Carefully add the squid and chiles to the hot oil and fry until crisp and just barely golden, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared tray with a slotted spoon and sprinkle generously with salt. Repeat the sifting and frying process with the remaining squid, making sure to return the oil to 350 degrees F between batches.
  4. Transfer to the fried squid to a plate and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve with the lemon and orange wedges and the sweet orange sauce for dipping.