My family and are still on a quest for a good Chinese restaurant. It has to have a buffet, because, for one, we’re feeding two teenage boys, who are simply walking hormonal stomachs. And two, I tend to be a picky and poor eater and I do better if I have variety. So far though, all the ones we’ve tried range from “omg, this sucks”, to the point where I actually left a bad review for it on Yelp and I’m not the type to do that normally, up to “ehhh, it was ok, but I wouldn’t pay for it again.” We aren’t asking much…. just food that is fresh and not sticking to the warming dishes because it’s older than my husband, food that hasn’t been salted to the point where you could use it as a salt lick to lure animals in when hunting and a decent variety of dishes.
One of my husbands favorite things from a buffet is the Orange Chicken. I’m a General Tsos kind of a gal myself, but I do enjoy a good Orange Chicken. Good being the operative word. And that’s hard to find. So I gave up for now and decided to make it myself. I have to admit, I’m rather glad I did. No, we didn’t have the variety of 17 different kinds of (Americanized) Chinese foods to choose from, but the one dish was fresh, had an amazing orange flavor that was real, not like a cook poured a bottle of orange extract in it to flavor it and I could eat lying in bed watching bad TV. Hey, don’t judge… I wasn’t feeling well yesterday. That I even MADE dinner is to my credit :-p
This is fairly easy to make. As I’ve told you many times before and will many times more, do your prep work ahead of time. have all the ingredients cut and measured, oranges zested and juice squeezed, etc, etc, etc. Doing this saves so much time and hassle. You don’t get to a certain step and suddenly realize “Oh, crap, forgot to do this or that!” and have to put everything on hold. Do. Your. Prep. Work. And you’ll breeze through this.
You know the drill… git to cooking. 🙂
- For chicken-
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized cubes
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup flour
- oil for frying
- For the sauce-
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger *
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (use less if you prefer less spicy)
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup warm water combined with a tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (low sodium is a good idea if you have it)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- zest of 2 large oranges
- juice of 3 oranges
- sesame seeds and extra sliced green onion for garnishing
- rice and broccoli to serve with the chicken
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
- Combine the cubed chicken with the egg, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Dump in the cornstarch and flour and stir to combine. A wooden spoon works well here. Pour enough oil in a medium pot to go up two inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees, then fry the chicken in batches of about 8 to 10 pieces at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Set onto a paper towel lined oven safe plate or bowl. When all the chicken is cooked, set into the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
- In a medium saucepot, combine the sesame oil, tablespoon of vegetable oil, garlic, green onions, rice vinegar and ginger. Stir fry over medium high heat until the onion is wilted and everything is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- As that cooks, combine the soy sauce, sugar, orange zest and orange juice in a measuring cup. Add them to the stir fried green onion mixture. Bring to a boil, then pour the water/cornstarch mixture into it. Stir until the mixture comes back to a boil and thickens up, stirring constantly.
- Toss the chicken in the sauce mixture (Or serve the side on the side if you have some people who only like a little bit of sauce and others who like more.), and serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.
*NOTE- For an easy way to peel and grate ginger, just get out a spoon and a fork. Use the edge of the spoon to scrape the peel off; so much easier and much less waste. And then lay the peeled part of the ginger down on a small plate, holding the other end with your free hand. Use a fork to scrape across the ginger. It grates it quite nicely and you can use the edge of the fork to mash/slice up any bits that come off too large.
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