Put down the take out menu – you can make delicious orange chicken yourself with all the same great sweet and tangy flavor!
One of my favorite things to order when I go out for Chinese food is orange chicken. It’s got a little kick and it’s sour and sweet and so good. I’ve tried to make it a few times at home, but it was always too orangey because of the addition of orange zest. I don’t want a crazy orange flavor, just enough that it doesn't taste like candy. The sauce is super easy to throw together, and making it this way means you know everything that goes in there! Forget takeout and make this easy dish at home.
Ingredients! There’s quite a bit here but it goes really fast and makes an amazing glaze for the chicken (or dipping sauce for chicken strips). We’ve got chicken tenders cut into chunks, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh orange juice, chicken broth, fresh ginger, sugar and cornstarch. Not pictured: a garlic clove and some red pepper flakes (I’m not sure where they ran off to).
Step one: Grate some fresh ginger and the garlic, combine it with all the other glaze ingredients and bring it to a boil.
While that’s happening, make a slurry with cornstarch and water to help thicken the glaze.
When the glaze comes to a boil, add the slurry and boil it for a couple minutes more to thicken it up.
Once that’s done, set it aside while we make the chicken.
For the oil you need to pick a decent sized pot that has a heavier bottom to it. If you don’t have a thermometer to measure the oil you should seriously consider buying one – it helps a lot.
The amount of oil you need depends on the size of your pot, but shoot for about four cups. Just make sure the oil is two inches deep for frying. Bring the oil up to 350ºF.
While the oil heats up, prep the dredging station. Get a shallow dish for eggs and another shallow dish for the cornstarch. Beat the eggs in one and add some salt and pepper to the cornstarch.
Dip a piece of chicken in the egg then press it into the cornstarch, making sure the entire surface has been coated. Set on a plate while the oil heats up.
Once the oil is heated to 350ºF, gently lower the dredged chicken pieces into the hot oil and cook for minutes, then flip and cook for another four minutes or until golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels or a brown paper bag.
The key is to not overcrowd the pan or the chicken won’t cook as fast and instead just soak up oil. A large pot should be fine to do the chicken in three batches.
After you cook all the chicken, toss it with glaze and serve immediately over rice with green onions.
It's so good, you'll never order take out orange chicken again!