Orange Chicken Recipe

Are you craving a dish that’s bursting with flavor and guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than our Homemade Orange Chicken recipe! This delightful blend of tender chicken coated in a tangy orange sauce is sure to become a favorite in your household. Join us as we explore the art of making this beloved Chinese takeout classic right in your own kitchen.

The Allure of Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken is a beloved staple of Chinese-American cuisine, known for its irresistible combination of sweet and savory flavors. Tender pieces of chicken are coated in a crispy batter, then smothered in a sticky orange sauce that’s both tangy and slightly sweet. Served over a bed of fluffy rice, it’s a dish that’s as comforting as it is delicious.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s gather our ingredients:

Chicken Ingredients:

  1. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  2. Cornstarch
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. Vegetable oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce Ingredients:

  1. Orange juice
  2. Soy sauce
  3. Rice vinegar
  4. Brown sugar
  5. Garlic
  6. Ginger
  7. Cornstarch (for thickening)
  8. Orange zest (optional, for extra flavor)

Cooking Instructions

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s get started on making this delicious Orange Chicken:

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

Start by cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces and seasoning them with salt and pepper. Then, coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch until they are evenly coated on all sides.

Step 2: Fry the Chicken

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

Step 3: Make the Orange Sauce

In a separate saucepan, combine orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 4: Thicken the Sauce

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the simmering sauce until it thickens to your desired consistency. If using, add orange zest for an extra burst of flavor.

Step 5: Combine and Serve

Once the sauce has thickened, add the fried chicken pieces to the pan and toss them until they are evenly coated in the orange sauce. Serve the Orange Chicken hot, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Enjoy Every Tangy Bite

Now that your Homemade Orange Chicken is ready to serve, it’s time to dig in and enjoy! The crispy chicken coated in a sticky orange sauce is a match made in heaven, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures with every bite.

Conclusion

In conclusion, making Orange Chicken at home is a simple and rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy a restaurant-quality dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. With just a few basic ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can whip up a batch of this delicious Chinese takeout favorite in no time.

FAQs:

Q1: Can I use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs?

Absolutely! While chicken thighs are traditionally used for Orange Chicken due to their tenderness and flavor, you can use chicken breast if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken breast tends to cook faster than thighs.

Q2: Can I make Orange Chicken ahead of time and reheat it later?

Yes, you can make Orange Chicken ahead of time and reheat it later. Simply store the cooked chicken and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to eat, reheat the chicken in a skillet or microwave until heated through, then toss it with the sauce before serving.

Q3: Is there a way to make Orange Chicken healthier?

To make Orange Chicken healthier, you can bake the chicken instead of frying it. Simply coat the chicken pieces in cornstarch as directed, then arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with the homemade orange sauce for a lighter alternative to the traditional fried version.

Q4: Can I use bottled orange juice instead of fresh orange juice?

While fresh orange juice is preferred for the best flavor, you can use bottled orange juice if that’s what you have on hand. Just be sure to choose a brand that is 100% pure orange juice with no added sugar or preservatives for the best results.

Q5: Can I make Orange Chicken gluten-free?

Yes, you can make Orange Chicken gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce and ensuring that all other ingredients are gluten-free as well. Additionally, you can coat the chicken in cornstarch instead of flour for a gluten-free breading.

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