What is orange chicken （陈皮鸡）?
Orange chicken is a popular American Chinese dish that most everyone has tried at some point. It is made by deep frying small, breaded chicken pieces before topping them in an orange-flavored sauce. The orange-flavored sauce thickens or caramelizes to form a glaze.
The chicken is made from boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces, and then fried until golden brown and crispy. To finish the dish, the chicken is simply drizzled with the orange-flavored sauce until a shiny orange glaze forms around each piece of juicy chicken.
Why is orange chicken so popular?
If you've ever been to a Chinese restaurant, you've probably seen orange chicken on the menu. But why is this dish so popular? One reason may be its vibrant color. Orange is often associated with happiness and good fortune, making it an appealing choice for a meal. Additionally, it’s delicious!
This dish is typically made with juicy chunks of chicken that are cooked to perfection. The meat is then coated in a sweet and tangy sauce that is bursting with flavor.
No matter how you slice it, its flavor or it's being easy to make, orange chicken is always a good choice.
The orange chicken sauce recipe consists of orange juice, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh ginger, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, water, cornstarch, and tangerine peel.
In this recipe, I added homemade tangerine peel to make the orange sauce. The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, water, and orange juice, plus a bit of cornstarch thickener to make the sauce thick enough to coat the chicken.
The most important thing to remember when making this dish is to use fresh oranges. The juice from fresh oranges will give the sauce a much brighter flavor than if you use bottled orange juice.
Tips and tricks
As a side note, if you're a dark meat fan, you could also use chicken thighs and legs for this recipe, but you would need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
If you don’t have oranges on hand, you can use sweet-sour dried plum to substitute! The benefit of dried plums is they give you the sweet-sour taste like oranges. They are also easy to store for a long time and are super handy whenever you need to make orange chicken. You can get your dish done in no time!
So, if you're looking for a new recipe to try, why not give the orange chicken a shot? Maybe you'll like it more than you expected. It’s easier than you might think, and it’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends! These orange chicken are sure to be worth the effort!
- 1 pound of chicken breast
- 2 eggs whisked
- 8 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- cooking oil for frying
- green onion chopped , optional
- fresh oranges slices optional
- Prepare the chicken by cutting it into bite-sized pieces. Coat the chicken with egg and cornstarch and season the chicken with salt and pepper. Shake off any excess cornstarch.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat up some oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and deep fry them until they are golden brown and cooked through.
- Add one tablespoon of cooking oil to the wok, add green onion, red dried chili peppers, and dried tangerine peels, and cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- To make the orange sauce, simply stir in and combine the fresh orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chicken broth, stir until smooth. Let it simmer for a few more minutes. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the orange sauce mixture until the sauce has thickened.
- Sauté the fried chicken pieces in the sauce over low heat in a large skillet.
- Serve the orange chicken over rice and enjoy!
- To prevent it from drying out, you can add small amounts of water or freshly squeezed orange to the stir-fried chicken.
- You can add a little more oil if needed to ensure the chicken is surrounded by oil, but be sure to keep the temperature up so the oil is bubbling and hot.