Every generation in our house loves take-out Orange Chicken, so that inspired us to try to make our own. This dish is lighter then your normal delivery as the only breading you have is a light coating of cornstarch and it is pan fried, not deep fried. It has a sweet and sour flavor that hits those citrus notes, with a subtle heat from the ginger and chili flakes. If you are making this for kids, you may want to skip the chili flakes and add some at the end for the grown-ups.
Make-In Orange Chicken
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup orange juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
½ inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
Canola oil for frying
Scallions or sesame seeds for garnish( about one scallion and 1 tsp. sesame seeds)
In a small saucepan bring orange juice, zest, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, chili flakes, ginger and garlic to a boil. Then, turn heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half.
Pat chicken pieces with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
In a large bowl add salt and cornstarch and toss in chicken until all pieces are well coated.
In a large sauté pan or wok heat enough Canola oil so that the oil comes up the side of pan about ¼ of an inch. When hot, add chicken in batches, browning on all sides. About 5 minutes per batch. Remove from pan. Drain pan of excess oil. Add all of the chicken back in and pour sauce over. Heat for 1-2 minutes until all of chicken is coated. Then, sprinkle sesame seeds or diced scallions over the top and serve.
*If you want a thicker sauce add 1 tsp. of cornstarch to the sauce when you add it to the chicken.
Serve with Rice