Last night if I hadn't already met my daily quota of pillowy carbs and bundles of meat I definitely tripled it from all the dumplings I ingested. We celebrated Valentine's Day by getting together with two other couples and creating a Dim Sum feast for Chinese New Year. I made Chinese Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce and a Beef and Chinese Chive version of these potstickers that I could've eaten until my stomach exploded.
Because my stomach is still in the Chinese food spirit I thought it was time to post this recipe. And while this Orange Chicken may not be authentically Chinese, it is authentically satisfying and authentically mouth watering. It's amazing how easy this popular North American Chinese take-out favorite is to make at home; and without all the MSG and subsequent gut-bloating/hungriness half an hour later.
Recommended by Thoughts from a Wanderer and adapted from Allrecipes.
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 green onions, chopped
In a saucepan over medium-high heat combine all ingredients for the sauce except for the cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water. Bring to a boil and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally while you make the chicken and broccoli.
In a bag or on a large plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss until coated with the flour mixture. In a medium pot over medium heat add enough oil to come up the side of the pot about 1-2 inches. Divide the chicken and add in small batches so the temperature of the oil doesn't drop. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken turns golden and crispy and is no longer pink on the inside. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Continue cooking chicken in batches until all chicken is golden.
In a separate pot or in the microwave, steam broccoli florets for about 5-6 minutes until tender crisp.
Turn the heat on the sauce back up to about medium. Stir together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp of water and add to the sauce. Stir for a minute or two until thickened then remove from heat.
In a large bowl toss together broccoli, chicken and sauce. Top with chopped green onions. Serve over rice or along side fried rice.
Click here for printable version of Chinese Orange Chicken.
I'm not gonna lie, when I originally read the recipe I was tempted to mess with it and cut the brown sugar and up the orange juice and cut the lemon juice and up the ginger and and and....BUT I held back and made the sauce according to the original. The orange taste is subtle yet bright. The combination of sour acids is balanced with rich brown sugar giving the sauce a smooth tang. It really is delicious and tastes just like Orange Chicken from a North American Chinese restaurant.
My addition of the broccoli ups the nutritional value and adds a great texture and crunch. This is a great recipe for pleasing everyone in the family, including the kids.
For more excellent Chinese recipes made at home, check out:
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