it’s a mad mad mad world

So we’ve been in the middle of a massive chaotic event at work: school immunizations. This is something schools generally start policing at kindergarten. (Not our district!) Wyoming instituted some new requirements in mid-September and then said every school in the state had to be compliant by October 1st. Yeah eff them and the horse they rode in on. There are TONS of children in my part of the county and we have a useless school nurse. And please imagine the utter loathing I put into typing that phrase describing him, our school nurse. He’s lazy, incompetent, useless, a thorn in our asses, and he wears the most ridiculous sweaters I’ve ever seen. Even Bill Cosby would make fun of this guy for his stupid sweaters. (Okay, petty moment over, I promise). So the schools have slacked in their compliance majorly, they are YEARS behind in record inputting for the kids’ shots, and our school nurse claims it’s because his bosses told him not to do his job so he said “okay, I won’t do my job.” FOR FIVE YEARS. So they’re sending every one of those kids who need catching up (that’s hundreds and hundreds of kids, mind you) to our office. To see me. And the one RN with whom I work. Two people to manage hundreds of kids and their ridiculous parents. It’s been months of offsite clinics, school clinics, appointments stacked on top of each in the office from 8 until closing, many long nights and early, early mornings, and a huge volume of phone calls – most of them stupid questions and whining and rude people. Star Valley people, by and large, are some of the most self centered, rude, overly self entitled people I’ve ever come across in my life. If any Star Valley people want to argue, I’d say they need to start showing me more than just the handful of people I’ve seen with any class or politeness. Otherwise, I stand by my statement. Many of them are tools. And they all seem to want to come to my office for the sole purpose of being tool-ish.

So what the eff does this have to do with food? Well I’m so stressed out and tired and irritated that all I want to do is eat stir fry and drink wine. I told Erik to suck it up and just deal with the fact that I made some orange chicken last night and it was DIVINE. I ate until I had to pop my pants open and then promptly forgot about the daunting day of appointments I just had and the one sure to follow the next day and the fact that right now as we speak there are broken toys for me to clean up in the middle of our office because mom just had to let little johnny fuckface wreak havoc. It makes him happy, you see, all that fuckery. And I’m just the secretary. It’s my job to clean up after them, of course. Gaaaah. I need more orange chicken. Stat.

Orange Chicken
recipe from Annie’s Eats

You Need:

chicken breasts, cut up into 1 inch cubes (I used enough for two dinners and leftovers for lunch)
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
6 Tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used dark and I cut this amount way, way down. I was afraid of too much sweetness – mine, with the cut down amount, was just the right amount of sweet)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon ginger, grated
pinch cayenne
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cold water
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
oil, for frying (I use canola)

Combine the chicken broth, OJ, zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne in a medium saucepan. Place your chicken in a bowl and pour 3/4 cup of the marinade from the saucepan into the bowl. Let it sit in the fridge (or if your house, like mine, is already as cold as a refrigerator because it’s winter, just leave it on the counter). Let it sit for about 30 minutes, up to 60. Bring the rest of the sauce in the pan to a simmer on medium heat. Whisk the 1 Tablespoon/2 teaspoons cornstarch with the 2 Tablespoons cold water. Whisk this mixture into the sauce and let it cook up thick and glossy.

Drain your chicken and prep your frying station. Get your oil in a high sided pot or large pan and start heating it. You want it to get up to 350. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites together in a pie plate or a bowl or something until they’re frothy. Combine the 1 cup cornstarch with the baking soda in another plate or bowl. Place your chicken pieces into the egg whites. Then dredge them in the cornstarch mixture. Fry in batches, until the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Reheat the sauce if necessary and toss the chicken in with it, coating well on all sides. Serve on white rice with scallions for garnish, if you want.

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