Sunday, March 15, 2009

Savory Sundays: Orange Chicken

Okay, well I went too long in between Savory Sunday posts. Between a birthday party, chasing the girls around the house and work, I had an eventful day. But I wanted to share this recipe as it is one of my favorite recipes. I know, I say that a lot but this one really is something that I not only love to make but am quite proud of making.

I've always loved Orange Chicken so I found this recipe for Orange Chicken and was intrigued. It seemed like a huge undertaking but one day I just decided to try it. And I am glad I did.

Now, this recipe is quite an undertaking but that's what I like about it. You need time in the morning to mix the sauce and cut up and marinate the chicken.

Here's what you'll need for the sauce:

1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

All together now:
I've found that one medium- to large-size orange will do the trick for the tablespoon of zest, and will provide plenty of orange juice as well.

First, pour all the liquid ingredients into a saucepan and then add the sugar, zest, green onions, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes (I actually don't use the pepper flakes so that's an optional for me).
After the sauce reaches a boil, take it off the heat and allow to cool. That will give you enough time to cut the chicken. When cutting up the chicken, I use my bag-on-a-cup trick. I slice the chicken up into small cubes and toss them directly into the bag.

When the sauce has cooled, pour about a cup into the bag and marinate it in the refrigerator for at least an hour - two or more would be great.
When it's time to cook, I snip a corner off the bag and drain the marinade that way.

Put some flour into a bowl, add salt and pepper and drop the chicken pieces in there.

Now, you'll want to use a skillet big enough to handle all the chicken. It's important that the chicken touches the pan, so if you double the recipe I strongly recommend you either a) use two skillets or b) cook the chicken in batches.
It won't take too long, maybe 4-5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, heat the sauce up in a different pan (the original recipe says to dump the chicken in here but don't do that or else you'll lose the crunch). You'll need to dissolve some corn starch into some water and slowly add that to the sauce to thicken it. It's trial and error, and the only way I can get the right thickness is by slowly adding it until the sauce is thick. I don't use any measuring spoons or anything for this part.

I like to serve mine over plain white rice (yes I know I'm adventurous).

The only thing missing for me is the chopsticks... and the fortune cookie. I seriously don't make this dish enough.


5thsister said...

I've never made Orange Chicken. This looks very kid friendly. I think I will try it! Thanks for sharing!

Willoughby said...

The chicken looks delicious. If only I weren't allergic to oranges! I wonder what I could sub? I have been meaning to tell you that I used your bag in a cup trick last week. I used a bowl instead because it was handy, but it worked like a charm! Thanks for the great tip.

Crystal said...

Looks Yummy!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

This looks so good!