Once in a while I stumble across a recipe that looks really good and that I want to try but think to myself, “I could never do that.” I’m no novice in the kitchen, but certain dishes, especially ethnic food, just plain scare me. Start off with a long list of ingredients, add in a few pans cooking many things at once, throw in a few exotic ingredients and I’m shaking in my boots.
I know I need to get over these fears and just give it a try. I’m trying to be more brave in the kitchen. Chinese food felt like a good start to me, and I found this recipe. I fell in love. Check out the blogger’s photos and you will see what I mean. So, I put on my “big girl pants” and my brave face and gave it a try.
Man, was it ever worth the effort! This dish is delicious and totally worth the sweating over hot oil, multiple pans and somewhat sticky mess (remember, I’m a messy cook). I swear it tastes just like a restaurant or your favorite takeout. My husband almost had a shocked look on his face when he ate it. I’ll let his words speak for me…
“Babe, this is good.”
“No, I mean, this is REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD!”
“Did you make this? From scratch?!“
From: adapted from post by blogchef.net
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Oil (for frying)
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. rice vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. orange zest (grated)
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. ginger root (minced)
2 cloves (or 1 t.) garlic, minced
2-3 green onions (chopped)
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic resealable bag and toss to combine; set aside. Dip chicken pieces in beaten egg and then drop into bag with flour mixture, and toss to coat well. Deep fry chicken in a deep fat fryer at 375 degrees or fry in a wok until completely cooked. Remove to drain on a plate of paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and onion. Bring to a boil.
Combine cornstarch and water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir into the orange sauce until it thickens. Add pepper flakes, if desired. Pour sauce over breaded chicken and toss well to coat. Garnish with green onion and orange wedges/slices.
My notes: This makes A LOT of sauce. Enough for this dish and a whole other serving. I’m putting the leftovers in the freezer to see how it holds up. I followed the original recipe pretty close but changed a few amounts to suits our tastes. I used a wok (first time since we got it as a wedding gift) and it worked beautifully.