Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Orange Chicken #2

Awhile back, my husband was watching the first primary election, and he said, "Oh- wait until Super Tuesday."  As a non-political wife and mother, I think Super Tuesday is one of the following:
1. A Tuesday when all children decide to nap for a full 24 hours.
2. A Tuesday when professional maids make surprise visits and clean your entire house without being paid.
3. A Tuesday when Neilsen's Frozen custard gives away free sundaes.
Boy, was I shocked when I found out the it was a day when several states hold their primary election or caucus for presidential candidates.  There is nothing super about that!  They need some other adjective to precede "Tuesday."  Tortorous Tuesday.  Turn-off-the-TV-so-you-don't-have-to-listen-to-political-analysists-talk-about-every-county-in-Ohio Tuesday.  Tedious Tuesday.  More appropriate?  I think so.  I might need to send my suggestions to Fox News.

Now, this chicken... This chicken is super!  I love to make Chinese food, and one of the hardest things is to figure out how to fit all the skillets on your stovetop since nearly every Chinese food dish is done in a skillet.  This chicken is actually done in the oven.  I was skeptical at first because I'm used to frying the battered chicken and tossing it in sauce. This was a totally new way to do it, and I loved it.  The flavor was wonderful and the chicken was slightly sticky like the orange chicken from Panda Express.  And better yet- It's a bit healithier since it's not fried at all.  I loved this chicken and shall make it again and again.

Orange Chicken
source: melskitchencafe.com (bless that woman's soul!  Her website has some amazing recipes!)

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 c flour
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
2 T oil or butter
1 1/2 c water
1/4 c plus 2 T fresh orange juice (I just used Tropicana orange juice)
1/3 c rice vinegar
2 1/2 T soy sauce
1 T orange zest
1 c brown sugar
1/2 t finely minced ginger (I used 1/2 t dried ginger)
1 t minced garlic
2 T green onion
3 T corn starch
1/4 c water

Heat oven to 350.  Pour the 2 T oil or melted butter into a cookie sheet.

Put the flour, garlic powder, and pepper in a Ziplock bag.  Put  couple handfuls of chicken at a time in the flour and seal the bag.  Shake to coat all the pieces.  Place the coated pieces onto the cookie sheet in a single layer.  Repeat with the remaining chicken. 

Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

While that is baking, get out a saucepan.  Combine the water, fresh orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and orange in the saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk until well combined.  Add the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and green onion.  Bring it to a boil.  Combine the 1/4 c water and corn starch in a small bowl and whisk until it is dissolved.  Add it to the sauce and stir until it is thickened.  It should only take about a minute.

After the 30 minutes is up for the chicken, take it out, turn each piece over, and pour 1/2 the sauce over the chicken.  Bake it another 30 minutes.  Baste it frequently, adding some of the extra sauce, if necessary.

Put the chicken on a serving plate.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions (that's my own special touch!).  Serve it with rice. 

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