Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese Orange Chicken


Orange Chicken


Yesterday, we decided to treat ourselves to a little Chinese-American cuisine. No, we didn’t order takeout. It seems like every time I go on Pinterest, I come across another recipe for Chinese Orange Chicken. We’ve never had this before; and I was really curious about it. It’s not that we lived a sheltered life, we were just fortunate enough to live near a restaurant that specialized in Polynesian, Szechuan and Asian dishes. Their food was the best around, and their prices were reasonable, so fast-food takeout was never an option for us (meaning, we never tried Panda Express). I’ve seen recipes floating around the Internet for a crockpot version of orange chicken; but I wanted to experience the authentic taste, especially for my first attempt. So, I searched for (what I considered to be) the best adaptation of this dish; and this recipe seemed the most legit (from damndelicious.net). I made a few changes to the ingredients list, only to suit our tastes. I did go with the fried version. Although, I’m not an advocate of fried food, I do believe it’s okay in moderation. A deep fryer is not essential for this dish, as you can easily fry this in a wok or large pot on the stove top (using only 1 cup of oil). Now, on to my final review. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this again. I was thrilled with the results. We both loved it. The orange flavor was distinct, yet not enough to overpower the bolstering flavor of ginger and garlic; a perfect combination of sweet, savory and tangy, with just a hint of spiciness from the Sriracha. There was a nice texture on the chicken breasts, enough to hold up to the sauce, yet the chicken pieces were delectably moist on the inside. This was so good, and easier to make than I thought it would be. After trying this, I’m not sure I would ever want to experience the takeout version; it just might be a disappointment in comparison.

I ended up using 4 eggs. I also used 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil (to toast sesame seeds), not shown.
Cut the chicken breasts into smaller, bite-sized pieces. I cut them into 2-inch chunks.
Zest and juice the orange. Mince the garlic and ginger. Slice the green onions, and set aside (for garnish).


I lightly toasted the sesame seeds in 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil, to make the sesame flavor pop a little more. (I toasted for about 3 to 5 minutes, in a small skillet, over medium heat.) Set aside, as this will be used for garnish, also.



You will need to marinate the chicken, for a minimum of 30 minutes. (I marinated mine for about 1-1/2 hours.) To make the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together the chicken stock (or broth), orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper.



In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken pieces with 2/3 cup of the marinade (set aside remaining marinade left in bowl). Marinate (in the refrigerator) for a minimum of 30 minutes, occasionally turning the bag to evenly distribute the ingredients.



Heat oil. I get the best results using peanut oil. You can use a deep fryer (pre-heated between 350° F. and 375° F.); or you can heat 1 cup of oil to a wok or deep, large pot on the stove top.


Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.


In small bowl, whisk the eggs. 



In another gallon-size resealable bag, pour in cornstarch.
 


Working, with about 8 pieces at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the eggs, then drop in the bag of cornstarch. Shake well to coat.

Add chicken pieces to hot oil. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until crispy. This is where I had a little problem determining the doneness of the chicken. I was expecting the chicken pieces to fry to a golden brown, but they remained “white” in appearance (probably due to the cornstarch coating). After taste testing, I was able to figure out that 4 minutes yielded the best results.


Transfer the chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined dish. Repeat until all chicken pieces have been cooked.



In the meantime, pour reserved marinade into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Combine 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons water; whisk to combine. Pour this into the boiling marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Keep warm. You may have to take it off the heat for a few minutes, so it doesn’t continue to thicken on the stove top.



Transfer cooked chicken to a serving bowl. Pour thickened marinade over all. Toss to thoroughly coat all the chicken pieces. Garnish with reserved sesame seeds and green onion.


Orange Chicken


CHINESE ORANGE CHICKEN
Source: damndelicious.net
Posted by: www.meldingmagic.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks (about 3 breasts)
  • 2 cups, plus 2 Tablespoons, cornstarch, divided
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Marinade:

  • 1 cup chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons, freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (Tamari recommended)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Sriracha (or more, to taste)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. In small skillet, over medium heat, lightly toast sesame seeds in 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (3 to 5
    minutes). Remove from heat; set aside (for garnish).
2. To make the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together the chicken stock (or broth), orange juice,
    sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper.
3. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken pieces with 2/3 cup of the marinade (set
    aside remaining marinade left in bowl). Marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, occasionally turning
    the bag to evenly distribute the ingredients.
4. Heat oil. You can use a deep fryer (pre-heated between 350° F. and 375° F.); or you can heat 1 cup of
    oil to a wok or deep, large pot on the stove top.
5. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
6. In small bowl, whisk the eggs. In another gallon-size resealable bag, pour in cornstarch.
7. Working, with about 8 pieces at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the eggs, then drop in the bag of 
    cornstarch. Shake well to coat. Add chicken pieces to hot oil. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until
    crispy. Transfer the chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined dish. Repeat until all chicken pieces have
    been cooked.
8. In the meantime, pour reserved marinade into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a
    boil. Combine 2 Tablespoons cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons water; whisk to combine. Pour this into
    the boiling marinade. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Keep warm.
9. Transfer cooked chicken to a serving bowl. Pour thickened marinade over all. Toss to thoroughly coat
    the chicken pieces. Garnish with reserved sesame seeds and green onion.

14 comments:

  1. I had Orange chicken yesterday. I just told my family I would love to make it. I pinned it! Thanks so much for stopping by Saturday Dishes and linking up.
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark
    www.recipesforourdailybread.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you try this, you'll never go back to take-out. Thanks so much for the pin. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing this!! I love when I can make Asian inspired dishes at home. Its the only way to keep my hubby out of a China buffet. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  3. This looks SO GOOD! I love orange chicken! Totally going to try this! Thanks for sharing the recipe and linking it up to Saturday Night Fever! Pinning now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share. Thanks so much for the pin! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  4. Cathy, Thanks for sharing this with us at our Marvelous Monday Party! Pinning! Looks like a great week night meal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share. Thanks so much for the pin! :)

      Delete
  5. Ooo, yummy, this sounds delicious. You have so many amazing recipes. Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you over at Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one is a "keeper" for sure. Happy to share. I'll link up with you later today.

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  6. Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can't wait to see what you link up next week!
    Have a terrific weekend!
    Cathy
    APeekIntoMyParadise.com
    #TastyTuesdays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the pin! You have a terrific weekend, also. :)

      Delete
  7. Orange chicken is one of my favorite Chinese foods. Thank you so much for stopping by Saturday Dishes and linking up.
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark
    recipesforourdailybread com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are amazing! So flavorful. Thanks for having me at Saturday Dishes.

      Delete

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