I used to think that I thrived on change. I used to be that person who would move the furniture around a couple of times a year, or change up the bedding often, just because I liked that feeling of change. Well, I think I’ve changed in my old age. 🙂 I don’t really like change anymore. I want stability, and predictability, and scheduling. I’ve gotten boring, haven’t I?? Last night, my husband was able to come down and visit us, and he was in the living room with the kids, and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, and everything felt so normal. I’ve really been craving that lately, and while it was short-lived, I really cherished it.
Speaking of change, I haven’t even been able to keep regularity in my posting. You’ll notice that today’s post is the Cookbook of the Month post, which I usually post on Fridays. I had another recipe I had to post on Friday, so this recipe got postponed until today. I’m learning to roll with the punches right now!! So you’ll get 2 recipes from this month’s cookbook this week. So it kind of feels like a bonus!!
Confession time. On the rare occasion that we go out to that certain fast food Chinese food restaurant, I like to get the orange chicken. There is something about that deep fried, super sweet dish that draws me in every time. And I’m guessing many of you are the same, since it’s their most popular dish. But if you are looking for a reproduction of that recipe here today, you’ll have to look somewhere else. Because this is not the same kind of orange chicken. But believe me when I say this – this is an orange chicken that you’ll want to try! This recipe is a little more refined, a little more special. And definitely delicious!
This recipe starts off with dredging the pieces of chicken in cornstarch and then frying them. Next time, I would skip the whole deep frying thing, because I think that even though it was delicious, I think it would be equally delicious if you just sauteed the chicken and saved a few calories. (And some oil, and a bit of a mess, since I’m notoriously messy when it comes to frying!) But besides this, I wouldn’t change a thing. I did adapt some amounts in the recipe below, based on how much chicken I had on hand and how much sauce I wanted, but I think it all turned out pretty perfectly. In fact, my sister stopped by that day, and I was telling her about the recipe. I had a plate of it in the fridge and brought it out for her to try it, and she ended up eating the whole plate – cold! That’s got to mean something, right?
Recipe Rating: 9 out of 10
- 10-12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- oil, for deep-frying
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 dried finger-length chiles
- 2 green onions, white parts only, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths
- 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chines rice wine
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a bowl, combine the chicken and the cornstarch and toss to combine. In another small bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
- In a wok or heavy-sided pan, heat 2-3 inches of oil to 350F. Drop the chicken into the hot oil and move them around immediately to prevent it from sticking together. Fry the chicken until it is a light golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and lay on a plate lined with paper towels. Discard the oil, or reserve it for another use.
- In a wok or a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the garlic and stir. Add the chiles and cook until aromatic. Add in the chicken and stir in the sauce. Stir continuously until the chicken is coated and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the green onions and immediately serve with rice.
- adapted from Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites From Dim Sum to Kung Pao
Try out some of these other different takes on orange chicken: