This weekend, I made one of Mr. K’s favorite dishes: orange chicken.
Coming from a Chinese background, I have a contentious relationship with orange chicken. I don’t mind it per se. It tastes fine. I just get a little annoyed, sometimes very annoyed, when people start talking about how they love authentic Chinese food and then they say orange chicken is their favorite Chinese dish.
Mr. K likes to say he loves orange chicken just to see if he can get me riled up. I’m okay with it most of the time, as long as people realize it is an American Chinese dish.
I actually had absolutely no idea how to make it and had to look up recipes. The steps are relatively simple and I was pretty relieved that my first attempt came out looking like the orange chicken I usually see served at restaurants.
You’ll need to marinate the chicken for a few hours so do plan ahead.
When I presented it to Mr. K, he gave me two thumbs up. He absolutely loved it, so I guess the recipe I chose is a pretty good version.
1 lb boneless chicken thighs
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup + 2 tbsp cornstarch
oil for frying
1 egg (for coating and frying)
1. Mix together the chicken broth, juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, sriracha, ginger and pepper in a bowl to make marinade. Pour slightly more than 1/2 of the marinade into ziploc bag. Set the rest aside to make sauce later. Slice chicken into 1 inch cubes. Add chicken into marinade bag. Let chicken marinade for at least 2 hours.
2. Pour oil into frying pan at least 1 inch deep and heat to medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk egg. In a separate small bowl, pour 1 cup cornstarch. Drain chicken from marinade. Dunk chicken first in egg, then coat in cornstarch and then put into heated frying pan. Fry for a few minutes until chicken is a light golden brown. You can do a few pieces at a time, in small batches until all chicken is used up. Place already fried chicken aside on plate lined with paper towel.
3. In a small saucepan, pour the remaining marinade that was previously set aside. Add in 2 tbsp of cornstarch and mix so it is completely dissolved. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly so that the cornstarch does not get chunky. Cook for a few minutes until sauce becomes thick.
4. Set aside about 1/3 of the sauce. Leave remaining 2/3 in saucepan and add in fried chicken pieces and coat with sauce. Serve chicken over rice. Pour some of the remaining sauce on top.
Slightly Adapted from Damn Delicious