Better than Take-Out Orange Chicken


Better than Take-Out Orange Chicken

So, when chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound or less I buy them in bulk.   I cut some up into strips, some into cubes and leave some breasts whole.  I add marinate to some of the bags of chicken before I freeze them.  This way when I need cubed chicken, such as for this dish, I can open my freezer the night before to take out meat for the next day my chicken is already cubed for me I just need to thaw it.

This dish was a bit more involved than I normally make on a week night but I had extra time on my hands and it really wasn’t that much longer than usual.  I will say I had more dirty dishes – 1 wok, 1 skillet, 1 saucepan (for rice) and 2 bowls – 1 for the sauce and 1 for the chicken slurry, several forks, tongs and spoons plus our normal dinner dishes.

Verdict:

Every dirty dish was worth it to us.  It was sweet and sticky and had TONS of orange flavor.  Both children really loved the flavor but thought there was just a tiny bit too much sauce.  I made a ton of sauce because usually they like the extra sauce over the rice but they thought this was just a bit too much.  If your family does not like extra sauce 1/2 the sauce recipe below and you should be fine.

Next time I will definitely add broccoli to it too as I think that would help with their thinking it was too saucy.  But, I didn’t have any on hand last night to add.

I served this with a cut up vegetable platter of radishes and cucumbers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced and divided
  • peanut oil, for frying chicken
  • Sliced Baby Carrots, Chopped Red or Green Peppers, Broccoli Crowns, Chopped Cauliflower, your choice
  • Brown Rice, if desired

Cornstarch Slurry:  For Coating Chicken

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cornstarch

Orange Sauce:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • zest from one medium orange, no pith
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Mix all the Orange Sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined and then set aside until ready to use.
  2. Mix Cornstarch Slurry ingredients in a second bowl until well combined.  It will be slightly paste like in consistency.
  3. Place cut up vegetables in a skillet with a bit of peanut oil and cook slowly over medium heat.  As they begin to cook if you are cooking brown rice begin it now and cook according to package directions.
  4. Place about 1″ of oil in the bottom of a second large wok or skillet.  Heat until oil is about 325-350.  Do not allow it to smoke.  If it begins to smoke turn the heat down.  Try to keep a consistent temperature.
  5. You will need to add chicken to the Cornstarch Slurry bowl in 2 or 3 batches as you cook each batch.   Stir chicken and remove 7-8 chicken pieces with a fork allowing excess to drip off back into the bowl before placing chicken carefully into the hot oil.
  6. Cook until well browned on each side. Remove chicken from pan and drain on paper towels.  Place chicken in a warmed oven, 170 degrees, while the rest of the chicken is cooking.
  7. Once all the chicken is cooked and vegetables are al dente wipe out the chicken pan and add just a touch of oil and 2/3 of the sliced green onions.  Over medium heat stir fry for about 30 seconds once pan is warm.
  8. Stir Orange Sauce mixture being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to stir up any settled cornstarch and slowly add to the onions.
  9. Stir sauce until it slightly begins to thicken.  Add vegetables to pan with sauce.  Sauce will begin to thicken quickly so watch it carefully.  If it is too thick add a bit of water to thin to desired consistency.
  10. Add chicken back to pan with sauce and vegetables and stir for a minute to completely coat the chicken.
  11. Remove from heat and serve over rice, if desired, garnishing with the extra onions.

 

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