What inspired me to cook Orange Chicken was my cousin’s Facebook picture of his take on this dish. So, I would like to thank my cousin M in California for inspiring me to try out this dish. I’ve tasted Orange Chicken in restaurants and it never crossed my mind on making my own version at home (so wrong!). There are dishes that I leave the professionals to make, Orange Chicken is one of them. I thought it would be hard to make but actually it’s quite easy once you’ve done your prepping.
There’s something I love about Oranges in chocolates, baked goods and in savoury & sweet dishes, you can definitely tell it apart from any other citrus fruits. It possess this sweet citrusy taste and have this fantastic wonderful scent, and if I close my eyes….I won’t mind inhaling that orangey scent all day long, it’s so intoxicating!
If you Google, Orange Chicken Recipe…you will find so many variations on this recipe that I’m lost who actually provided the original recipe, but whoever you are…Thank You!
750g chicken thigh (boneless), cut into strips
1 1/2 cup water
2 tbspn orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbspn soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbspn orange zest (approx. 1 small orange)
1/2 tspn garlic, finely minced
1/2 tspn ginger, finely minced
1 tbspn green onions, chopped
1/4 tspn red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup plain flour
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn ground pepper
cornstarch slurry (1 tbspn cornstarch + 2 tbspn water)
1/2 cup oil for frying
*used U.S Measuring Cups & Spoons
~ Combine all your sauce ingredients except your brown sugar and stir well.
~ Cut your boneless chicken thighs into strips as thick as your thumb. Finely mince your garlic and ginger, next…chop your green onions. Zest the outer skin of your orange taking care that you don’t include the white part of the skin.
PREPPING MARINADE SAUCE AND MARINADING THE CHICKEN:
~ In a large saucepan, pour in your sauce mix and bring it to boil. Lower your heat and let it simmer, pour in your brown sugar, stir till it dissolves. Add in your orange zest, green onions, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes (optional). Bring to boil again and remove the saucepan from the heat.
~ Pour your marinade sauce in a clean container and let it completely cool down.
~ Add in your cooled marinade sauce over your chicken thigh strips and let it marinate inside the fridge (covered) at least 2 hours, overnight would be ideal.
FLOURING YOUR CHICKEN STRIPS:
~ Drain your chicken strips, save the marinade sauce. In a bowl combine all your “seasoned flour” ingredients, stir well. Individually cover each chicken strip with the seasoned flour.
Heat your cooking oil in a large saucepan in high heat. Once the oil is hot, lower your heat to medium-high and fry your chicken strips in batches. Cook the chicken pieces till lightly golden brown. Place all your cooked batches on a large bowl lined with kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil. Set aside.
~ Remove all the used cooking oil from the pan. Give the pan a good rinse of cold water. Pour in your marinade sauce and let it simmer. Once it is simmering add in your cornstarch slurry (stir before pouring). You have to quickly stir the mixture so that the cornstarch slurry is evenly distributed. Your sauce will thicken up, reduce your heat into medium-low.
~ Add in your chicken pieces into the simmering sauce. Toss the chicken pieces until all of them are all coated with the sticky sauce. Place the Orange Chicken in a serving bowl and garnish it with slices of oranges and sprinkle with green onions on top.
- I didn’t add in red pepper flakes when I cooked this.
- If you don’t want a very strong orangey flavour, I would recommend that you strain your leftover marinade before making it into the sauce. Dispose the solid bits and just use the marinade liquid.
- Don’t be discouraged on the prepping stage, you can do the marinade sauce and marinate the chicken, the day before you cook the Orange Chicken. Once you’ve done the prepping, the cooking part is a breeze to do.