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This one is the real deal. Many recipes floating around, but this one is authentic.
Authentic Chinese Orange Chicken
Lately any recipe I see for this uses chicken breast. That’s OK I guess but Chinese don’t use it in this dish or most “red” stews or anything with soy sauce.
Breast meat is reserved for lighter, “white” dishes that are quickly cooked. In stews or anything “twice-cooked” the poultry used is thighs. Breast is too light in flavor to handle this sauce–it gets lost in the taste of it. This dish requires a bolder flavor in the meat. I learned a great deal about Chinese cuisine way back in college. A friend’s sister managed a restaurant in Chinatown and gave up a few secrets…lucky for me!!!
Yes, the dish is a bit fussy, but it’s well worth the effort AND it’s cheaper than take-out and better than the stuff from your grocer’s freezer.
This tip comes from Betty–she found the batter too thick and thinned it down with a splash of milk. She said it was perfect with that addition. Thanks Betty!
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- oil for deep frying
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 tbs minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion reserve some for garnish--about 1 tbs
- 1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
- 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp mirin or saki
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- zest of 1 whole orange
- Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Mix the 1/2 cup cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper. Beat the egg in a small bowl with the 1 tbs oil. Mix in the cornstarch mixture. Add the cornstarch/egg mixture to the chicken in the bowl. Coat well.
- Heat enough oil to deep fry in a large, deep skillet or wok. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry chicken in batches so there is plenty of room around the chicken. Maybe 6-8 pieces at a time. Fry on each side 5-7 minutes or until crisp and beginning to brown. Drain with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
- Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and orange zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove oil from wok and wipe out. Heat over high heat for about 10 seconds and add the other 1 tbs of oil. Toss in the minced garlic and ginger and stir fry until very aromatic--maybe 15 seconds. Put the broccoli in and stir fry for 15 seconds. Add the green onion and the pepper flakes and stir fry for 10 seconds. Stir the sauce in the bowl and add it to the wok. Bring sauce to boil. Add the mirin/saki and the sesame oil. Mix the 1/4 cup water and 1 tbs cornstarch and add to the boiling sauce, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened and bubbling. Add cooked chicken coating well with sauce.
- Serve immediately over rice.