Kumquats are winter fruits that start appearing in the grocery stores in late November through March. These tiny, bright orange oval fruits have a sweet rind and a tart flesh. They can be eaten raw and are pretty refreshing. I usually cut them in half to remove the seeds before popping them into my mouth. Kumquats can also be candied, made into marmalade and preserves, or cooked with meats for a citrusy flavor.
The name kumquat is derived from the Cantonese gam gwat which means “gold orange”. These fruits are considered auspicious and the shrubs are often used as ornamental plants during the Chinese (Lunar) New Year. Back in Malaysia, the kumquat shrubs have larger and rounder fruits and are mainly ornamental although they are edible. I do not remember ever eating the fruit from the tree. We only ate the candied ones imported from China. These are sometimes mixed with water to make a tea thought to help sooth sore throats.
Kumquats combine really well with chicken and pork. I like to slice them into medallions and toss them into my stir fries at the very end of cooking. They are also wonderful added to sauces and poured over grilled or roasted meats.
For this Kumquat Chicken recipe I have decided to pan fry the boneless skinless chicken thighs before slicing them. I then made a quick and simple sauce to pour over the chicken. Love the way the dish turned out!
- 20 oz (560g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 kumquats, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorn
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- ¼ cup water
Marinade chicken with soy sauce, Szechuan peppercorn, and salt for 20 minutes. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Heat up wok or large fry pan. Add 2 tablespoon of canola oil. Place chicken thighs in a single layer in the pan. Fry 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cook through.
Remove and when cool enough to handle, slice into ½-inch strips. Place on a plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of canola oil in a small saucepan. Sauté mince garlic for about a minute. Pour in sauce mixture. The sauce will become thick and bubbly very quickly.
Stir in sliced kumquats and immediately turn off heat. Add sesame oil.
Pour sauce over cooked chicken. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the top. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!