Orange chicken is a Chinese restaurant classic that's surprisingly easy to cook at home. I love this recipe! With a couple of simple steps you get extremely tender chicken with a crispy coating and an irresistible sticky sweet, sour, intensely orange glaze.
There are so many reasons to cook Chinese orange chicken from scratch.
- Firstly, It's exciting to cook something that's as good (or better) than your favorite Chinese restaurant dish.
- There's the additional perk that homemade Chinese orange chicken is lighter and healthier than takeout because it's not deep fried.
- Also, for those of you who are not eating wheat, you'll be happy to know that this Chinese orange chicken recipe is is made with a light cornstarch batter and no flour, so it's naturally gluten-free.
This Chinese orange chicken recipe was given to me by my friend and Chinese food expert Maggie Zhu. You'll find loads of amazing Chinese recipes on Her food blog Omnivore's Cookbook.
Maggie's e-Cookbook - The Chinese Stir Fry Sauce Cookbook - zooms in on the art of the Chinese Stir Fry. There are 9 essential sauces, from sweet and sour to Kung Pao, and 41 easy recipes to help you cook real-deal Chinese food that tastes better than takeout. The recipes are short and fast - 16 recipes require less than 20 minutes to put together. 21 recipes call for 6 ingredients or less. All the sauces can be pre-made, frozen, and used later.
Maggie was kind enough to allow me to pick a recipe from her book to share on Panning The Globe. I fell in love with her Chinese Orange Chicken recipe. It's quick and easy and totally delicious.
HOW TO MAKE CHINESE ORANGE CHICKEN
Orange chicken gets its orange flavors from orange juice and rehydrated aged tangerine peal (found in Asian markets) or orange zest. Once the peels are chopped (or the oranges zested) orange sauce takes 5 minutes to put together.
- Make The Orange Sauce: Combine orange zest (or tangerine peel) with the orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, wine or sherry, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the orange sauce ingredients into the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 30 seconds to a minute. Transfer sauce to a bowl and let it cool. When cool, the sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Marinate the chicken: Cut boneless chicken thighs into bit sized pieces and marinate them for ten minutes in a mixture of oil and salt. Then toss the chicken with a whisked egg and cornstarch to create the batter.
- Sauté the chicken: Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet and sauté coated chicken pieces for five minutes, until just cooked through.
- Add the orange sauce, heat for a minute or so and dinner is ready.
Serve Chinese orange chicken over white or brown rice or quinoa. Add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds or scallions or strips of orange zest to garnish. Steamed broccoli is a perfect accompaniment.
By the way, since the orange sauce freezes really well you might want to cook up a big batch and freeze it in portions. Then anytime you’re craving orange chicken or orange shrimp, dinner is just 20 minutes away.
I used to think of a stir-fry as something that didn't require a recipe. I’ve made plenty of Chinese style stir-fries over the years, starting back in my college days, just a wok full of meat and veggies with an improvised sauce comprised mainly of bottled soy or hoisin sauce - a haphazard approach with unreliable results.
Decades later it feels good to have a growing collection of delicious tried and true Chinese stir-fry recipes on Panning The Globe. Some of my favorites are Chinese Beef and Broccoli, Moo Shu Pork, 7 Flavor Precious Chicken, and Chinese Fun Noodles with Beef.
And it's great to have Maggie's book as a resource for loads of great Chinese stir fry recipes.
Here's the recipe for Chinese Orange Chicken. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print