23 January 2010

Orange Chicken

"I want to make some form of Chinese food," I thought to myself the other day, "and I have chicken in the freezer! I'll just make something with that."

Chicken with any form of sweet sauce is one of my favorite poultry applications, and this orange chicken recipe was delightful. I served it on a bed of white rice, with a side of broccoli.

Orange Chicken

2 chicken breasts (skin off, bones out)
1 cup AP flour
olive oil
1.5 cups + 2 tbsp water, divided
3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
3 tbsp soy sauce
the grated zest of an orange (roughly 1 tbsp)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp minced ginger (not dried ginger, use fresh!)
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped scallion + more for garnishing
3 tbsp corn starch
olive oil
black pepper

Start by making the marinade and sauce base. Combine 1.5 cups water, the fruit juices, vinegar and soy in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then add the sugar, orange zest, garlic, ginger, and scallion. Let boil for a minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Cut the chicken up into bite-sized pieces and place in a ziplock bag. Pour one cup of the sauce into the bag, seal and refrigerate for two to four hours. Keep the rest of the sauce - I put it in a Tupperware container and refrigerated.

When the chicken is done marinating, remove from the fridge. Mix the flour with a teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and stir to coat. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the chicken until brown on all sides. Remove from the heat and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Place the sauce back into the saucepan. Stir two tablespoons of water with the corn starch until no lumps remain. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to low, add the chicken pieces and simmer for five minutes.

Like I said before, I served this over rice with oven roasted broccoli, but you can do egg noodles, just various vegetables or anything else you think would go well with orange chicken!

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