This recipe definitely takes some patience because of the marinating time but the flavor makes it worth your while. That first bite will have you speechless!
"The Chinese do not draw any distinction between food and medicine" -Lin Yutang
This is my number one dish whenever I order from an Asian restaurant, I absolutely love how all the flavors compliment one another. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, one of my favorite restaurants that served this dish has closed (moment of silence). After a few bad experiences with other takeout restaurant versions, my husband suggested that I just create my own version of the orange chicken recipe that we love so much.
Now, this is a very common recipe at almost any Asian restaurant but what I find so interesting is that just how different the flavor can be when it come to the orange sauce. The answer is easier than you may think; a lot of restaurants that serve this dish use a store bought version of the orange sauce instead investing the time to made their own. I'm not saying the Panda Express or Kikkoman sauce isn't good but there's nothing better than a homemade orange sauce to give your chicken that authentic flavor.
I invested a lot of time and research into this recipe because I wanted to make sure I did it justice. You can be the judge of that.
You should start prepping for this meal 3 hours before you plan to eat. the prep time is about 30 mins and the chicken needs to marinate for 2 hours.
I've said it before, you're going to need to invest in a Dutch Oven. It's perfect for the sauce and completing the recipe.
Start your rice cooker once you take the chicken out of the refrigerator so that the rice is done in time to be served with it.
Last but not least, buy an orange and zest it yourself, don't be lazy.
1 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp Orange juice
¼ Cup Lemon juice
⅓ Cup Rice Vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 ½ Tbsp FRESH Grated Orange Zest
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
½ Tsp Minced Ginger Root, fresh
½ Tsp Minced Garlic, fresh
3 Tbsp Green Onion, chopped fresh
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Water
2 Skinless Chicken Breast cut into ½ inch pieces
½ White Onion, chopped
1 Cup All-purpose Flour
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Cup White Rice
1. Pour 1 1/2 cups Water, Orange juice, Lemon juice, Rice Vinegar and Soy Sauce into a saucepan or dutch-oven, set over medium-high heat. Stir in the Orange Zest, Brown Sugar, Ginger Root, Garlic, Green Onion and Red Pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Now the orange sauce is partially complete.
2. Place the cut chicken pieces in a glass bowl and pour 1 cup of orange sauce over it. Reserve the remaining sauce in the pan for later. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
*2-3 Hours later:
3. Add 1 Cup of White Rice and 1 Cup of Chicken Stock to rice cooker and set cook time.
4. In separate bowl or resealable plastic bag, mix the Flour, Salt, Cayenne Pepper and Black Pepper. Add the marinated chicken and coat it completely.
5. Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet and brown on both sides. Place cooked chicken in a dish lined with paper towels and cover with aluminum foil.
6. Next, add an additional Tbsp of Olive Oil to that same skillet used to cook the chicken and saute the chopped White Onion in the chicken bitters. Set aside once sauteed.
7. Add your reserved orange sauce and leftover marinating sauce to a dutch oven or large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and add the sauteed onions.
8. In a small bowl, mix the Cornstarch and 2 Tbsp of Water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and allow it to simmer and slightly thicken while stirring occasionally. (About 3-5 minutes). At this point the Rice should be done.
9. Lastly, stir in the chicken and simmer for another 3 minutes. Serve right out the pan. Enjoy!