Orange chicken is one of my son's favorite meals. I used to always buy it at Trader Joe's (and absolutely love TJ's) but one time I bit into a very questionable piece. I did not investigate it further, but simply remove it from my mouth and never purchased the bag again.
Now, this quite possibly could have been my imagination because I am really really weird with chicken, but I had to find a homemade version. Although, my kids of course prefer the store-bought version. Gotta love kids.
I love this chicken because although it is fried, it is so fresh. The sauce is bursting with orange flavor, slightly bitter and slightly sweet. I served it over a bed of coconut rice (rice made with ⅔ part coconut milk and ⅓ part milk) and it was fantastic. Not only is it delicious, it is quick! It only took about 30 minutes to get this on the table!
- 1.5 pounds boneless , skinless chicken breasts cut into 2x2 in pieces
- ½ cup corn starch
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup thinly sliced onion or shallot
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- ¼ cup orange jam
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar (add more in teaspoon increments based on how sweet you would like it)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 cup water
- Cilantro or green onion for garnish
Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in a large pan on medium high heat.
In a large bowl combine flour, salt and corn starch.
Dredge chicken pieces in corn starch mixture and carefully place in hot oil about 8 pieces at a time.
Cook until golden on all side. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Continue until all chicken is cooked.
In a small bowl, combine orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar in a bowl and mix together until sugar is dissolved.
Now you can either pour out the oil or use a new pan to make the sauce.
Heat vegetable oil in pan on medium heat.
Once hot, add onion or shallot and garlic. Cook for about 4 minutes.
Add ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add orange jam, stirring constantly, until melted.
Once melted, add orange juice mixture. Bring to a simmer.
Combine water and corn starch and mix until smooth, then add to orange sauce, stirring constantly.
Once sauce has thickened, add chicken and stir to coat.
Serve on top of a bed of rice and garnish with sliced green onion or chopped cilantro.