In this recipe, there is some extra busywork to make these crisped orange peels. If you want to save time, simply add some orange sections and zest at the last minute instead. Want to make it spicy, add red pepper flakes to the stir-fry. Serve my version of this Chinese-American dish over a bowl of steamed jasmine rice…
For the candied orange peels: Bring 3 small pots of water to a boil. Divide the skins in the water and cook for 4 minutes in each pot before draining. This process removes bitterness from the skin.
Combine the sugar, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and 2 1/2 cups water in one of the pots from boiling the oranges and submerge the blanched orange skins. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. (Do not allow the syrup to brown or discolor.)
Drain the skins of any excess syrup (reserve the syrup for another use, such as for cocktails) and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Cover and allow them to sit overnight. Cut them into strips.
Make the sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the soy sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium heat until the sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes.
For the stir-fry: In a large heavy-bottomed skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and cook until they soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet and heat until it smokes lightly. Spread the chicken out in a single layer on a sheet tray and sprinkle with salt. Add the chicken to the skillet in a single layer. Allow the chicken to cook, mostly untouched, stirring once, until it browns around the edges and is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat and add the orange peel strips. Cook until slightly crispy, 3 to 4 minutes.
To the skillet with the chicken, add the snow peas, garlic, scallions and mushrooms. Taste for seasoning. Add the chiles de arbol, if using, and the grated ginger. Add half of the fried orange peel slices and the sauce, then transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the remaining fried orange peels. Serve with the rice.
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