Have you ever tried to learn Mandarin? ….
One of the things about moving to a different country is the lack of access to your favorite take-out foods and favorite restaurants that have become a bit too long (and expensive) of a journey to partake of.
To rectify this conundrum, one must figure out how to make these foods for themselves.
This is the situation that brought us to this fantastic orange chicken recipe.
For me, Chinese and Mexican foods are the ones that I really miss the most and spend the most time trying to re-create exactly the flavors and bits of each dish that I love so that it is like going to the restaurant but in your own home. Let me be the first to tell you that you should look no further, if you are looking for a great orange chicken recipe. We LOVE this one and it will be a part of our “Asian Take-Out Night” meals from this point on.
I can tell you that we made this for the first time and then when the leftovers ran out, sometime around the end of lunchtime the next day, we immediately began making another batch and extending our “leftover” experience a bit more. Each person had to have equal portions and we all supervised this process together… that’s how good (and how important) this recipe was to all of us! We served this with fried rice,… another dish we had to make more of to accompany each juicy morsel of orange-y goodness!
So look no further! Just get into the kitchen and whip up a batch of this fruity, chicken-y delight! You WON’T be sorry!
Ingredients for the Chicken:
- 1-1/2 to 2 lbs of chicken, cubed (we chose skinless boneless thigh)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 C All-purpose flour
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- vegetable oil for frying
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, salt, peppers and ginger together. Dip the chicken bits in the egg then dredge in the cornstarch mixture, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Add the oil to a frying pan and heat. Fry the chicken bits in batches until golden brown, draining on paper towels.
Ingredients for the Sauce:
- 1-1/2 C water
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 1/3 C rice vinegar
- 3 TBS soy sauce
- 2 TBS orange juice
- 1 C brown sugar, lightly packed
- zest of one large orange (at least one packed TBS)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, julienned
- 3 TBS cornstarch
Measure the water, lemon juice, vinegar, soy sauce and orange juice into a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer then remove 1 TBS of sugar from the 1 C measure and add it to a small bowl with the 3 TBS of cornstarch, mix with a fork.
Add the remaining sugar, zest, garlic and ginger to the saucepan and raise the heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Add the 2 TBS of water to the bowl with the sugar and cornstarch, mixing well until there are no more lumps. Add it to the sauce and stir until the sauce has thickened (happens almost instantly). Once the sauce is thick and bubbling, strain the sauce to remove the bits of ginger and garlic, then pour it over the chicken in a large bowl, tossing to thoroughly coat each piece. Add 1 tsp of red chile flakes and thinly sliced green onion rings to the chicken (optional) and toss, serving over rice.
Ingredients for Fried Rice:
- 4 C cooked, day-old, long grain rice (white or brown, your choice) at room temperature or cold
- 2 C frozen mixed veggies
- 1 C onion, diced
- 1 C cabbage, finely diced
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 2 TBS sesame oil
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large, flat frying pan with tall sides. Heat the sesame oil and cook the eggs to a medium scramble. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the onion and cook until it is opaque and softened. Then add the frozen veggies and cabbage and cook for about three minutes. Add the soy sauce and rice, stirring constantly to break up the clumps of rice and mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients.
Lastly, add the eggs back into the rice and stir it into the rice until it is uniformly distributed and heated through. Taste for salt and pepper – you may also want to add a bit more soy sauce until it is to your liking. Remove from the heat and serve immediately!