Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Orange Chicken: The hidden rival to Lemon Chicken

Always hidden behind the scenes in the history of Chinese cuisine, Orange chicken has rarely seen the light in restaurants unlike the popular Lemon Chicken. This post, we bring the Orange chicken to the spotlight!
Orange Chicken

Prepare:
700g boneless chicken thighs cut into one inch pieces(you can use chicken breast if you don't like thigh texture)
Eight to ten strips of Orange zest. Use a peeler and peel slowly, make sure you don't peel too deep and get the bitter white part.
8 pieces dried whole chilies, can buy from Hua Ho, I used the Indian type, not too spicy. They are mostly for decorative purposes but still add a hint of spicy flavour.


Drying the marinated chicken

Marinade:
3/4 cup chicken stock (if you don't have chicken soup or stock on hand ... just add one tablespoon chicken stock powder and mix with 3/4 water, won't be as good though)
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (add more if you like spicier)
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
zest of one orange (make sure you don't zest till you see whites, the white part is bitter)
3/4 cup orange juice (about 3 oranges for me)



A nice view of the sauce



Deep fry fry fry!

Instructions:

1)Make the marinade above.

2) Pour half the marinade into a mixing bowl with your chicken, mix well, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Do not marinade longer than 45 minutes.

3) While waiting, make the sauce. Pour the remaining marinade into a saucepan (pot) and heat it up to a simmer.

4) On a small bowl, mix 1 and half tablespoons of corn starch and add some liquid, about 2 tablespoons of water and mix well together into a slurry using your hand or chopsticks.

5) Add the slurry to the simmering mixture and cook till it's nice and glossy thickness. Then remove from heat.

6) Add in your peeled orange zest and your whole dried chilies and stir. Set aside.

7) When your chicken is marinated, drain all the marinade liquid, and wipe it dry using tissues or towels. Drying them makes it easier for the coating to cling on to chicken

8) To coat, beat 3 egg whites till nice and frothy.

9) On another plate, combine 1 cup of corn starch with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Add pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning. For me, I add some chili powder here as well. I love spicy food.

10) Dip your chicken on the egg whites, then dip on corn starch, then drop your chicken on to a hot deep frying oil at 350 farenheit or 180 celcius. Deep fry in batches.



11) Before adding and tossing the chicken with the sauce, heat up the sauce first.


Toss toss with the heated up sauce

12) Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!


Plate it nicely and show the dried whole chilies and peel. Hmm.. the aroma and texture! YUMMY!
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