Then, at lunchtime I was cutting up an orange for my Little Miss Melody when it struck me that Orange Chicken would be the perfect dinner to serve up to Frank and I on my first full day home from vacation.
So when Candace, of Authentically Candace, chose Easy Dinners for 2 as the theme for this week's Sunday Supper, I knew that this recipe would be perfect.
Even with this dish requiring two separate fryings, the first to solidify the coating (see center right photo) and the second to darken and crisp the pieces of chicken (bottom left photo), it is still a quick and easy fix. Perfect for Valentine's Day that falls on a Tuesday and is still during Chinese New Year celebration that continues until February 15th this year.
Once I had decided to make Orange Chicken, I needed a recipe and located this one from Ree, The Pioneer Woman, on FoodNetwork.com.and adapted it to fit the ingredients I had available. I started my meal by putting brown rice in the rice cooker and setting it to steam for one hour. I then whisked together some cornstarch and egg whites and put the chicken in to soak while my oil heated in a dutch oven. I also took this time to slice up some veggies that I had in the refrigerator to stir fry and serve with dinner and make the orange sauce.
When the oil is ready, fry the chicken in batches until light golden brown, removing to a paper towel lined plated after frying. When this is done you will refry the chicken, again in batches until deep golden brown. After draining onto a paper towel lined plate the second time, you can now put it into the orange sauce and toss to coat. Keep the chicken in the sauce on low for a few minutes while you stir fry your veggies. The rice should be perfectly steamed at this point and you are ready to plate in an hour's time.
adapted from The Pioneer Woman
2 T. cornstarch
4 egg whites
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
Juice of 2 oranges
Zest of 1 orange
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 t. olive oil
salt to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2" piece of fresh garlic, minced
1 t. cornstarch
Canola Oil for frying
Whisk together the cornstarch and eggs in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Set aside while making sauce and heating oil.
Combine the orange juice, zest, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, olive oil, salt, red pepper, garlic and ginger in a skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch with a 1/4 c. water, making a slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce, stirring continuously for a minute. Add another 1/4 c. water to the sauce, stir to combine and hold on lowest heat while cooking the chicken.
Heat about 2" of oil in the bottom of a dutch oven to 350*. Carefully add the chicken pieces, flipping gently until light golden brown, about 3 minutes, drain on a plate lined with paper towel. When all the chicken is fried, start with the first batch and return it to the hot oil for 1 or 2 more minutes until a deep golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Toss with the warm orange sauce and serve. Print Recipe
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