Thursday, March 7, 2013

chinese orange chicken


chinese food is certainly one of our favorite types of food.  we absolutely love to go out to chinese restaurants or to order chinese take out to eat at home, but there is always that guilt afterwards of not entirely knowing what you just ate.  most of our favorite chinese restaurants are reputable, but you never exactly know what ingredients they are including in their dishes.  (i like to know exactly what i am eating.)

over the years, we have made plenty of asian dishes at home, but we have never made chinese orange chicken.  typically, i try to avoid fried foods because they are so unhealthy for you, but every now and then i make an exception.  this meal was definitely a worth while exception!

the chicken is marinated before it is fried, which gives it an amazing flavor.  then it is topped off with a thick orange sauce.  the chicken sits on a bed of plain white rice which is the perfect compliment to the spicy sauce.

there's no reason to order chinese orange chicken when you can make this awesome dish right at home.  pull out a pair of chop sticks and dig in!


chinese orange chicken
prep time: 10-15 minutes
marinating time: 30 minutes
cooking time: 35-40 minutes
yields: 10 servings
adapted from cooking classy

ingredients:
10 boneless chicken breasts
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups orange juice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup cold water
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, for frying
4 scallions, chopped, for garnish

directions:
dice the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes.  place them in a large bowl, and set aside.  in a large sauce pan, combine the onion, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, sugar, ginger, and pepper.  whisk mixture well.  pour approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the chicken.  cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

meanwhile, heat the remaining sauce mixture in the sauce pan over medium heat.  bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently.  in a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the cornstarch with the water until no lumps remain.  stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce and reduce the heat to low.  cook the sauce for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.

pour vegetable oil into a large cast iron dutch oven (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep).  heat the oil over low heat until it reaches 350 degrees F (be sure to use a kitchen thermometer).  meanwhile, pour the remaining cornstarch into a shallow bowl, and whisk the eggs in a separate shallow bowl.  remove the chicken from the refrigerator.  drain and discard the marinate.  in small batches, dip the chicken into the egg, then toss the chicken in the cornstarch.  carefully place the chicken into the heated oil and cook for 6-7 minutes, until the chicken is cooked throughout.  once cooked, use a large slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the oil, and place it on a plate lined with paper towels in order to remove the excess oil.  repeat with remaining chicken.  once all of the chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken to a large bowl.  pour the sauce over the chicken and lightly toss, making sure that the chicken is evenly coated.  serve hot over a bed of cooked white rice.  garnish with chopped scallions.


enjoy!
love, laurie

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Laurie. We will definitely have to try this. Brian and I LOVE making our own Chinese food. It's so much better than take out and doesn't make (us at least) feel so bad after eating it. Our favorite so far is pepper, steak, and onion but I've actually been searching for a recipe similar to this (not necessarily orange, though, but that sounds good) so you never know!

Lauren
http://choosingjoy7.blogspot.com/

kristyn said...

i completely agree. E and i LOVE chinese, but i can't eat it anymore from anywhere but P.F. Chang's and the sort. just freaks me out too much at my ripe old age haha.

now we can make it home, thanks to your lovely recipe :) great inspiration as always!

xo,
kristyn

Ma Pa C said...

Looks delicious, I can smell it throught the computer.

FrugalFoodieMama said...

That looks so good, Laurie! It looks light too. Not laden down with a heavy sauce like take-out Chinese usually is.
Can't wait to try this!! :)