Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Takeout?

_MG_1144.jpgWe rarely go out to eat. I've come to realize that since I'm such a home body it doesn't bother me. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy going out now and then. When we do go out or even order takeout it's hardly ever Chinese food. Since moving away from home I have yet to find an Asian style restaurant, Thai, Chinese, or whatever, that is as good as those restaurants in Seattle or anything close to my mom's cooking.
_MG_1143.jpgI've come to realize that so many Asian restuarants today are Americanized. That's why I haven't found a restaurant good enough for my picky self, so I guess I'll just have to try cooking with a little Asian flair on my own. Here's my shot at Orange Chicken. You can find it on most menus at any Chinese restaurant. While it's not the most healthy dish it does happen to be a favorite of mine. Add some pot stickers and rice, and you've got yourself a fabulous meal. 
_MG_1125.jpgCut your chicken into bite sized pieces and place it in a dish or ziploc bag along with this awesome marinate for about an hour. While that's sitting you can make your orange sauce, which I failed to photograph, but we can pretend. I used 2 oranges to get fresh squeezed juice and it was fantastic.
_MG_1128.jpgOkay, enough sitting around pull out your chicken. Drain the marinade. Pat the chicken dry. Then you're going to dredge the chicken in your cornstarch/egg mixture. That is what makes the chicken a little unhealthy, but oh so good! Now you can deep fry your chicken and your heart might have a slight heart attack. I decided to use just a little oil, about the amount you would use for a stir fry, and started frying the chicken. The cornstarch mixture might not stick as well with this method, but it doesn't detract from the awesomeness of this dish.
_MG_1132.jpgOnce your chicken is fried pat it with a paper towel to soak in the lingering oil.
_MG_1133.jpgHere's my favorite part! The orange sauce is what makes this whole dish. I just love it. If you've had it simmering on your stove it should be nice and hot. Pour it over your chicken.
_MG_1139.jpgToss your chicken lightly so that all of the chicken gets covered in this fabulous sauce.
_MG_1147.jpgPlate your chicken on a bed of rice. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and orange peel to garnish. Serve with a side of pot stickers. Your mouth will thank you!
_MG_1144.jpgOur whole family loved this meal along with the extra company that showed up last minute. At least my husband calls to warn me now. :)


Orange Chicken

Marinade & Sauce:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest and 8 strips orange peel (each about 2" long by 1/2" wide) from 2 oranges
6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cayenne 
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water


Coating & Frying oil:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
3 cups peanut oil (any oil is fine. I also didn’t use 3 cups. I used about 5 tablespoons and stir fried the chicken instead of deep frying.)


FOR THE MARINADE & SAUCE: Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside. Combine the chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne in a large saucepan (with at least a 3 quart capacity); whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out 3/4 cup of the mixture and pour into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all the pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.
Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel and chiles, if using; set the sauce aside.
FOR THE COATING: Place the egg whites in a pie plate, using a fork, beat until frothy. In a second pie plate, whisk the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper until combined. Drain the chicken in a colander. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat; transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the dredged chicken pieces on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
TO FRY THE CHICKEN: Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees (if deep frying) on an instant read or deep fry thermometer. Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350 degrees and repeat with the remaining chicken.
TO SERVE: Reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmer, about 2 minutes. Poor sauce over the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately with rice and/or pot stickers.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

This looks delicious!