It may look like a cross between a lemon and Edward Scissorhands…but Buddha’s hand citron is a wonderful fruit that everyone should try!
Its ancestor, the citron, is thought to have been brought to ancient China by Buddhist monks, and today Chinese farmers grow at least six different types of Buddha’s hand on 5,000 acres just south of Shanghai. The fruit is also commercially grown in small quantities in California.
Buddha’s hand has a thick rind with no juice, seeds or pulp, and is used mostly for its zest and peel. It’s known for its sweet aroma and can even be set out on a table as a natural air freshener!
Here are some other ways to use your Buddha’s hand:
Cocktails: Use the rind to infuse vodka or gin.
Candy>: The rind is sweet, not bitter, and is delicious candied.
Zest: Buddha’s hand can be used as a substitute in most recipes calling for citrus zest. It’s also a lovely way to top a salad and delicious in oil and vinegar dressings.
Make a batch of these sweet and spicy hot wings for the big game! Baked until crispy on the outside, these wings are then coated with a delicious sauce flavored with zesty orange. They are best served while cheering for your favorite team!
SERVINGS: 4 to 6
TIME TO TABLE: 10 minutes prep, 40 minutes baking, 5 minutes cooking.
Chicken 1.5 lbs. chicken drumettes and wings (about 14 to 16 pieces) 1 tablespoon cooking oil 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sauce ½ cup juice from freshly squeezed Paramount Citrus oranges 6 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon molasses 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons hot sauce ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 teaspoon tapioca starch or cornstarch 2 teaspoons water Zest of 1 Paramount Citrus orange
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the oil and toss to coat. Add the flour and toss to coat again. Transfer the chicken pieces to the lined baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer.
3. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Flip the pieces and bake for 20 more minutes.
4. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce. Whisk together the orange juice, brown sugar, molasses, garlic, hot sauce and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil two minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from heat.
5. Dissolve the tapioca starch in the water, add the slurry to the sauce and stir. Return the pan to medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Boil for 30 to 45 seconds, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest.
6. Transfer the wings to a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat. Serve warm.
In 2014—the warmest year on record—there were the lowest number of days with frost (30.9) in Denmark since 1874, and the average temperature was a full 1.2˚ C warmer than last year (2.3˚ C warmer than the yearly average temperatures between 1961-1990); I can only recall about 15 nights with frost here on the coast. The lowest temperature in the entire country was -15.3°C, on the 29th of December, in Roskilde. The average monthly temperature was never below 0˚ C. [Vejret i Danmark 2014 - dmi.dk]
Central Denmark is generally classified as USDA zone 7, with a few patches of zone 6 conditions. Coastal Denmark is Zone 8, although I would hazard a guess I had a zone 9 winter. I live right by the beach, so when I look at the weather forecast 2 km inland from where I live, there is often a difference of 2-3˚ C.
The weather service has deemed that we can expect more and more winters like this, so climate change is a reason the get a little more optimistic about hardiness zones, that is, if it weren’t so worrisome to only live about 2 metres above sea level.