Saturday, November 12, 2011

on some orange chicken...

Early in the week I made some bang bang orange chicken. Yes, that just happened. Bang bang. Anyways moving on. I love orange chicken. Or sweet in sour chicken. It almost always is what I order off of our Chinese take-out menu :D So there I was wondering what to cook for the week and orange chicken popped in my head and there ya go. I love sitting and thinking about things to make for the up incoming week. It's really fun. At least for me.

2lbs of chicken breast 
1 1/2 cup corn starch 
1 cup panko bread crumbs 
2-3 eggs 
salt & pepper
oil for frying

orange sauce 
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar 
2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon zest of orange
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 tablespoons water

Before I start anything I always like to salt & pepper chicken breast right away. That way the chicken can have that time to marinate in the salt & pepper. Next I set up my batter station. If you have a tray of any sort use that! I have a couple plastic serving trays that I love to use to breading  things. Easy clean up and less dishes. 
This part can get messy. I advise you wear your apron. Beat 2-3 eggs in a bowl. Dump about 1 1/2 cups of cornstarch and about one cup of panko bread crumbs. Now if you've never used panko, your missing out! I love panko bread crumbs. Most grocery stores have them right there with all the rest of the bread crumbs or also at time this like to hide them in the "Asian cuisine" section. I like panko for how light it is yet gives things a lovely crunch. Perfect for this dish! 
Time to cut up chicken breast into cubes. 
Breading is not fun. Honestly dislike it a lot. But really in the end it's so worth. Before you start grab your frying pan and fill it with some vegetable oil to heat while you bread. Take the cubed chicken and first dip in egg, then transfer to coat chicken in cornstarch, then back into the egg and lastly over to the panko. Got that! Egg. Cornstarch. Egg again. Panko. 
Now I don't know about you but I like to bread all my chicken at once and get it out of the way. That way once your done the oil is nice and hot and ready to fry! I use the frying time to clean up the breading station. Okay, by now I bet you are telling yourself this girl is crazy! Well, that's just how I do things. 
Fry in batches until golden brown. The orange sauce is the last piece. Grab a medium sized sauce pan. Combine the water, orange juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Mix it over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, orange zest, red pepper flakes and garlic. Bring it to a boil. 
While it's at a low boil get yourself a measuring cup and put 1/4 cup of water in it. Then add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix this well with no lumps. Slowing stir this into the boiling mixture. This will cause the sauce to thicken. Once all your chicken is all fried put them in a bowl and dump on the orange sauce. Chop some of that green onion for garnish and bon appetite. 
Great over a mountain of brown rice :) Yumm-o!! 
Note: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes are going to give this dish a little heat. Not overwhelming but for me it's a great balance. A little sweet & and a little spicy. If you don't like things to be spicy I'd downgrade to 1/4 teaspoon. 


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