Orange Chicken

Grandson Buddy loves orange chicken. He thinks the best orange chicken in the world is served at Panda Express. I set out to prove him wrong. Previous attempts have been less than stellar. This one knocks it out of the park! It doesn’t taste like concentrated orange juice, has a vinegary tang, and is just spicy enough. In a word, delicious. The stir fried sugar snap peas were the perfect accompaniment to the orange chicken. Just dice the sugar snap peas, stir fry in a hot wok or skillet in a little peanut oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Don’t over cook them. A little crunch is perfect.

orange chicken

 

Orange Chicken
Ingredients
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 and ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 3 TBS orange juice, not from concentrate
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp hot chili paste
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 TBS cornstarch, dissolved in TBS soy sauce
  • For the chicken:
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, thinned with 1 tsp water
  • ½ cup sweet rice flour
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Garnish:
  • Sliced green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Make the sauce by adding all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium until the sauce comes to a slow boil then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat and set sauce aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together rice flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dip the chicken pieces first in the egg, then dredge in cornstarch mixture. Shake off excess and spread pieces on a wire rack. Allow the coated chicken to rest for ten minutes before frying.
  3. Add enough peanut oil to a large pot or dutch oven to about a 2" inch depth. Heat over medium until the oil is hot (375 degrees). Add chicken in small batches and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Check the largest piece for doneness. When all the chicken is done, place it in a medium-sized bowl.
  4. Re-heat the sauce until simmering. Slowly add the cornstarch, dissolved in 3 TBS soy sauce, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Pour sauce over chicken and toss to coat. Serve over steamed white rice. Garnish with slivered green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

 

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