I know this is usually a Christmas tradition, at least in Europe, but I figured it's still citrus season so I can make them.
Chocolate and Orange is a classic combination but I'll be honest and say it hasn't always been one of my favorites. I found this recipe on yujai.blogspot.com and it looked so fresh and delicious that I had to try it. There is something very appealing about the thought of my apartment filled with the smell of citrus peel cooking away on the stove.
"candied" anything sounds like it would be complicated to make. As it turns out complicated is the wrong word, "time consuming" is more like it (this seems to be a trend lately with the dishes I choose to make).
Chocolate Covered Candied Orange Peel
adapted from Yujai's recipe
6 Navel Oranges (this makes a LOT of orange peel. Looking back I would have used half this number)
4 cups of sugar (don't forget to reduce the amount of sugar and water based on the number of oranges you use)
1 1/2 cups of water
All parts of this recipe are time consuming, I'm warning you.
First, peel the oranges by cutting 1/4 slices into the fruit, cutting the orange peel into quarters. (set the flesh of the orange aside for use in another recipe. I made a citrus cake!) Cut the quarters of orange peel into small 1/4 inch strips.
Put the peel in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, let it cook for a couple minutes and then strain the water out and do it all over again, twice. I'm going to have to do a little research but I'm thinking this removes impurities and wax that might have been on the rind. You really do see a lot of cloudy water go down the drain.
Strain the now soft and a bit translucent peel into a bowl and set aside for a minute.
Mix the sugar and water together over medium heat and let the mixture cook. The recipe calls for 8-9 minutes or when your candy thermometer reaches 230 degrees. I found that it took more like 15 minutes. I'm sure it all depends on the stove you have.
Add the peel and lower the heat to a simmer. Let the pot cook for 45 minutes (I left them on for an hour because I got caught up on the phone with my sister! No harm done).
Cover the underneath of a cooling rack with foil to catch sugar drips and gently lay the strips on the rack to cool and dry. They will still be pretty hot. You have been warned!
Let the strips dry for 2-3 days. You can either be finished now, and pack them into a container on wax paper to prevent them from sticking, or you can cover them in chocolate!
To cover in chocolate:
Melt chocolate, dip, set to dry again. Easy!