Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

These crispy, batter fried chicken smothered in a tangy, sweet orange sauce is probably one of the most popular dishes in the “American Chinese” cuisine. I am not exactly sure about how original this dish is or how closely it defines the Chinese cuisine, but growing up with “Indian Chinese”, I know how a certain dish is able  adapt to the needs of a country, set it roots and almost claims to have belonged there forever. In the process an entirely new cuisine is born.

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the “American Chinese”  and the regular Asian take outs, will know how the ”Orange Chicken” is sought after. My daughter absolutely loves this. And we hardly ever do take-outs or eat “Chinese” in America, for we love our “Indian Chinese” too much to change loyalties.

I am not so fond of it. The Orange Chicken I mean. While I like the tangy sauce, it is the sweet in it that I really have not been able to appreciate yet. So I added plenty of chili pepper to my version.

Ingredients

  • These crispy, batter fried chicken smothered in a tangy, sweet orange sauce is probably one of the most popular dishes in the “American Chinese” cuisine. I am not exactly sure about how original this dish is or how closely it defines the Chinese cuisine, but growing up with “Indian Chinese”, I know how a certain dish is able  adapt to the needs of a country, set it roots and almost claims to have belonged there forever. In the process an entirely new cuisine is born.
  • So I started getting the ingredients together, wanting to give it a try… and at last “Orange Chicken” happened in my kitchen.
  • I am making no claims that this is the restaurant style. It is only what I came up with and it left my girl completely satisfied. And that is what finally matters, right?
  • Orange Chicken
  • Ingredients: (serves 4)
  • 1.5 pound chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes – about 3/4 inch to 1 inch)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 6 dried whole red chili peppers + 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 inch ginger (minced)
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 stalk scallion (white parts and green parts, sliced finely in rings)
  • 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon light soy sauce (adjust amount to suit your taste
  • 4-6 tablespoon sugar/brown sugar/ (adjust to how sweet you want it to be)
  • 1/6 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 tablespoon oil  + 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil for flavor
  • salt to taste
  • Note: if you want a nice glazed look on the chicken, you can use a couple of tablespoon of orange jelly/marlamade while cooking the sauce. If you use this, adjust the juice and the sugar.
  • For the batter fried chicken:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • a small drizzle of oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper, adjust to taste
  • water, just enough to make a paste/batter that would coat the chicken pieces
  • oil to deep fry
Read the whole recipe on eCurry