As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Are you fond of Chinese food? If so, you must sample orange chicken’s tantalizing flavors. This tantalizing dish combines the ideal balance of sweet and sour flavors with tender chicken segments to create an experience that will leave you wanting more. This article will examine the secrets behind producing a family-pleasing orange chicken recipe. Therefore, don your apron and let’s begin cooking!
What is Orange Chicken?
Orange chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish consisting of crispy, bite-sized chicken morsels covered in a fragrant orange marinade. Typically, boneless chicken is coated in a light batter, fried until golden brown, and then mixed in a piquant orange marinade. The combination of crunchy chicken and citric sauce creates a delectable harmony of textures and flavors, making orange chicken a globally adored dish.
Chicken Recipe List Check out now
Ingredients for Orange Chicken
To create the perfect orange chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound bite-size portions of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 milligram of black pepper
- Vegetable oil for coating
- 1 teaspoonful sesame oil
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoonful minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce with minimal sodium
- 1 ounce of honey
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tangerine essence
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
- Green scallions and sesame seeds are used as a garnish.
Steps to Prepare Orange Chicken
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of preparing this mouthwatering orange chicken:
Step 1: Prepare the Chicken
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper.
- Coat the chicken pieces with the flour mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated.
- Shake off any excess flour and set the coated chicken aside.
Step 2: Fry the Chicken
- In a deep skillet or wok, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Carefully add the chicken pieces to the hot oil and fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy.
- Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
Step 3: Prepare the Orange Sauce
- In a separate saucepan, heat sesame oil over medium heat.
- Add minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan and sauté until fragrant.
- Pour in the orange juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and orange zest.
- Stir the sauce mixture and bring it to a simmer.
Step 4: Thicken the Sauce
- In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water, creating a slurry.
- Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the simmering sauce while stirring continuously.
- Continue stirring until the sauce thickens to a glossy consistency.
Step 4: Combine the Chicken and Sauce
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the thickened orange sauce.
- Gently toss the chicken in the sauce, ensuring each piece is coated evenly.
- Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Step 5: Garnish and Serve
- Transfer the orange chicken to a serving dish.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and sprinkle with sesame seeds for an extra touch of flavor and visual appeal.
- Serve the orange chicken hot and fresh, accompanied by steamed rice or noodles.
Tips for Making Delicious Orange Chicken
- For an extra crispy coating, double-coat the chicken by dipping the floured chicken pieces back into the flour mixture before frying.
- Adjust the sweetness and tanginess of the sauce according to your preference by adjusting the amount of honey and orange juice.
- If you prefer a healthier version, you can bake the coated chicken in the oven instead of deep-frying it.
- To enhance the citrusy flavor, add a splash of fresh lemon juice to the sauce.
- Experiment with different variations by adding vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, or snap peas to the dish.
Variations of Orange Chicken
Orange chicken can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Here are a few variations you can try:
- Spicy Orange Chicken: Add a kick to your dish by incorporating red chili flakes or a dash of sriracha sauce to the sauce.
- Gluten-Free Orange Chicken: Replace all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour or a combination of cornstarch and rice flour for a gluten-free version.
- Vegetarian Orange “Chicken”: Substitute chicken with tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian-friendly alternative.
Serving Suggestions for Orange Chicken
Orange chicken pairs well with various side dishes and accompaniments. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your meal:
- Steamed rice: Serve orange chicken over a bed of fluffy steamed rice for a classic combination.
- Fried Rice: Create a complete meal by serving orange chicken alongside vegetable or shrimp fried rice.
- Noodles: Serve orange chicken over stir-fried noodles or lo mein for a delightful twist.
Health Benefits of Orange Chicken
While orange chicken is a delicious treat, it also offers some health benefits:
- High in Protein: Chicken is a good source of lean protein, which helps in muscle growth and repair.
- The consumption of vitamin C can be facilitated through the intake of orange juice and zest, which can enhance the immune system and foster skin health.
- The orange sauce is rich in antioxidants which aid in combating free radicals and mitigating oxidative stress.
Orange chicken is a mouthwatering dish that combines crispy chicken with a tangy and sweet orange sauce. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can recreate this beloved Chinese-American dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, orange chicken is sure to impress with its vibrant flavors and delightful textures. So, grab your apron, gather the ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure with this irresistible orange chicken recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I make orange chicken using bone-in chicken?
Although bone-in chicken may be used to make orange chicken, boneless chicken is usually preferred since it is easier to consume and cooks more quickly.
Can I use another citrus juice in place of orange juice?
Yes, you may experiment with other citrus juices to give the sauce a special touch. Examples include mandarin, tangerine, and even an orange-lemon juice blend.
How can I lessen the sweetness of orange chicken?
Reduce the honey in the sauce to make the orange chicken less sweet. Start off with a lower serving size and then titrate to suit your tastes.
Can the orange chicken be prepared in advance?
The orange chicken may indeed be prepared ahead of time. Just before serving, mix the chicken and sauce that have been prepared separately. The chicken will stay crispy in this manner. But be aware that reheating the chicken might somewhat reduce its crispiness.
Aside from rice, what else can I offer with orange chicken?
A number of side dishes go nicely with orange chicken. Steamed veggies, roasted broccoli, sesame noodles, and a crisp salad are a few alternatives. For a healthy option, consider eating it with quinoa or cauliflower rice.
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.