Weather: another glorious spring day, the snow is melting quickly now from the yard
What I’m listening to:
Norah Jones station on Pandora

Happy May! It’s chopstick time again, my friends! What is there to say about Orange Chicken? It’s one of my family’s favorites whenever we go out for Chinese food and my kids often ask me to make it at home. I’ve tried a few recipes and for one reason or another was never quite happy with the results. I was in search of a recipe that was not cloyingly sweet, but not too spicy, either. I wanted a very distinct, tangy fresh orange flavor bolstered by ginger and garlic. And I wanted the chicken to be juicy on the interior and for there to be a nice texture on the coating that holds up to the sauce.

After several attempts and tweaks this is where we have landed. I served it over steamed rice with asparagus on the side and it was completely gobbled up, not a leftover to be found. I know the family will be demanding this one again very soon.

Orange Chicken

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Adapted from [From Scratch to Plate|http://fromscratchtoplate.com/2012/03/05/asian-orange-chicken/]

Yields: 4-6 servings

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1-1/2c water
  • 1/4c freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1T orange zest
  • 1/4c rice wine vinegar
  • 2T soy sauce
  • 1/2c [brown sugar|http://alaskascratch.wpengine.com/2012/04/29/kitchen-tip-homemade-brown-sugar/]
  • 1/2t fresh ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2T green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4t red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot)
  • 2T cornstarch
  • 2T cold water
  • For the Chicken:
  • 5 chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1c flour
  • 1T cornstarch
  • 2t seasoning salt
  • oil for frying (I used canola)
  • sliced green onions, for serving

!For the Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients except cornstarch and cold water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. In a small bowl stir together cold water and cornstarch with a fork, breaking up any clumps. Pour cornstarch mixture into boiling sauce and whisk until thickened. Keep sauce warm over low heat while you make the chicken.

!For the Chicken:

Pour about 1 inch of oil into the bottom of a dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add beaten eggs to a large bowl and add chicken pieces. Coat well.

In another bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and seasoning salt. Working in batches, take chicken from the egg mixture and coat in the flour mixture. Place chicken pieces into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken until golden and crispy on the both sides and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove fried chicken to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining batches of chicken until all the chicken is fried and drained.

Pour the hot orange sauce over the fried chicken and stir to coat. Top with sliced green onions and serve promptly over steamed rice.

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