Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Orange chicken has always been one of my favorite Chinese restaurant take-out dishes and I've been trying to recreate it at home so that it's still delicious, but also a bit healthier. I know this dish is fried and full of sugar, so I've tried to cut down on both the sugar and the oil to make my version. The results? Still completely delicious and flavorful! It started with using this technique where you shallow fry the chicken and then bake it in the sauce. It still takes some time to make, but it was worth it to me. I'm going to try this method with other dishes in the future like Sweet and Sour Chicken and General Tso's Chicken.
This recipe will serve about four people with a side of rice. I also served this dish with these Chinese kabocha squash & sesame pancakes as an appetizer while the chicken baked. I think some stir-fried sesame green beans or carrots would also be a nice vegetable side dish to go with your Orange Chicken.
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs
1/4 cup refined coconut oil, or other cooking oil of your choice
2 scallions, sliced on the bias
1 cup white rice, cooked to package directions
for the sauce:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 teaspoons Sriracha (more or less depending on how hot you want it)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Place the cornstarch in plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and add the chicken. Seal the bag and toss until the chicken is coated. Beat the eggs on a bowl. Heat the oil in a castiron skillet or a wok until it's hot.
Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Make the sauce by whisking together the cornstarch and water in a large bowl and then whisk in the remaining ingredients. Set aside.
When the oil is hot, begin to coat the chicken pieces in the egg, one piece at a time, and then place in the pan. Do this in batches so that you don't overcrowd the chicken. Turn the chicken once it begins to turn golden. Once the second side is golden, transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels and cook the next batch of chicken.
Place the chicken in a even layer in the baking dish. Pour oven the sauce to coat. Place in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Top with the scallions and serve with white rice.
What was I cooking one year ago?: spiced turmeric milk
Two years ago?: maple & Balsamic fig jam
Three?: smoky split pea soup
Four?: black bean patties with mango salsa
5?: Macadamia coconut tart