Sunday, November 6, 2022

Orange Chicken: Not A Real Chinese Dish, Not Real Chicken, Still, Really Delicious!

    Who doesn't like a nice dish of the famous Chinese Orange Chicken? They sell it at Panda Express right? Sooooo what's the deal with this dish? Is it really Chinese cuisine? Well, it's Americanized Chinese food, so putting it bluntly you are not going to find this dish in any restaurant in China. 

You will find it however, at Panda Express where I first had it eons ago. I grew up in San Francisco, in a heavily Asian neighborhood, so I've had the luck and pleasure of growing up with easy proximity to excellent Chinese cuisine. When I first saw this at the Vons on Montana Avenue circa 1993 I was all, "what is this stuff?" We wandered in, and we were hungry, on a deadline, so we bought a bunch of it boxed, and took it home. It was good, very good for a couple of "don't wanna cook tonight" writers, and I have to admit we went back and got more. Then came decades where we didn't go to Panda Express, even though they were everywhere that we were.

We don't eat meat very often (mainly big family holidays) so when I started buying Daring Foods "Chicken" and once I'd tried it in a few Indian recipes, I thought what else???? Then I happened to drive past the old Payless Shoe Store which is now a Panda Express. Bingo! Time for a return of the Orange Chicken.

 This recipe really worked well as I live with a long time carnivore who is not about to eat "fake" anything made to resemble one of his favorite foods. He was skeptical. Well skeptical no more because...

This Is Orange Chicken 

( can make this with real chicken and it's just as good.)

Here's What You Need:

For The "Chicken"

1: 1 lb of Daring Foods Chicken, any fake chicken substitute, or..,.real chicken. We're not judgy here.

2: 1 egg white, or vegan egg white, or you can use aquafaba  (bean water which has the same texture as egg white

3:1 and 1/2 tsp salt

4: 1 pinch of black pepper

5: 2 Tbs of  vegetable oil, (divided)  you'll need more for the frying

6: 1/2 cup cornstarch

7:1/4 cup flour

Here Comes the Sauce:

1: 1 Tbs cornstarch

2: 2 Tbs rice wine or white wine

3: 1/4 cup water

4: 1 tsp sesame oil

5: 3 Tbs soy sauce

6: 10 Tbs sugar

7:10 Tbs distilled white vinegar

8: zest of 1 orange

The Finish:

 1:1 and 1/2 Tbs minced fresh ginger

2: 2 tsps minced garlic or shallot

3: 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes

Here's What To Do:

 1: Make the sauce.

Mix together  1Tbs cornstarch , the rice or white wine, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar and orange zest.

Set it aside.

2: cut your chicken into 1 inch pieces. whisk the egg white, salt, pepper, flour, cornstarch,  and 1 Tbs of the vegetable oil together in a large bowl. Put the chicken pieces in, and coat them well.

3: In a separate  bowl ,mix 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1/4 cup of flour together

4: In a large frying pan, kadhai, or wok heat some vegetable oil to 375 degrees.

5: Take your chicken pieces out of the egg, and oil mixture you've made and dredge them in the flour and cornstarch mixture to coat them for frying.

6: Fry the chicken 3 or 4 minutes you want it lightly browned and crispy, do this in batches, do not overcrowd your frying pan!

7: Transfer to a cooling rack when it's all cooked.

8: Get rid of the oil in the frying pan...all except about 1 Tbs. You'll need that.

9: Add the ginger, garlic or shallot, crushed red chili flakes to the hot oil cook for about 10 seconds.

10: Now pour the orange sauce you made into the pan and get it to boiling.

11: when it boils, turn off the heat and put your fried chicken into the pan with it

12: stir everything around until it's well mixed and coated then serve it up!!!!!

Serve it with rice. This was a biiiiiiiiiiig hit around here., and we didn't even have to go to Panda Express to get it.

  So there it is. On a personal note since twitter is changing into whatever, I'm starting a substack where all these recipes and a whole lot more will be available for free subscription. I might get around to offering paid subscriptions at some point but for now it's  FREE FREE FREE! so I'll be posting on Twitter, FB, the Gram, etc. I'm also signing up for Mastodon if I can figure out where I am on that thing, Tribel, and counter social. I'm listed under my name Kathy Gori on those sites so I hope to see you there, or somewhere.  

Coming up next some holiday cookies and a whole bunch of stuff, see you on Twitter @kathygori  or see you on the flip side.

No comments :

Post a Comment


Blog Widget by LinkWithin