I’ve had a craving for Orange Chicken lately, but the only Chinese restaurant we’ve been to in the past 3 years is the Szechuan Kitchen in Lake Oswego (because they were part of the Restaurants.com coupon listing where we would get a $25.00 gift certificate for $2.00)…..but that relationship ended mid-summer (they no longer accept those coupons) and we haven’t had Chinese food since! Unless I made it at home.
Oh wait, we tried to go to the China Moon in December, for Riley’s birthday, but it was also closed. As in forever closed.
Since we don’t go out to dinner (we simply cannot justify dropping $60+ on a meal that I can make at home for $10), I knew if we wanted Orange Chicken I’d have to find a recipe and make it myself- and that’s what I did! I found the perfect recipe on the first try. The flavor was spot-on perfect. If I would have served it immediately after the chicken had finished cooking it might have been a little crispier, (and I suppose if I would have “fried” the chicken it would have been even crispier), but I made it about an hour ahead of schedule and kept it in the warming drawer which softened the crunchy crust.
I also learned that if you are out of Panko bread crumbs, you can simply put slices of WHEAT bread into a food processor, chop, then spread over a pan or mat to dry out- they worked perfect! New trick/tip and saves money, too- a win win!
This is definitely a keeper recipe and it makes enough for our family to eat dinner twice, so I’d say realistically this recipe serves 8 (not 6 as the printable recipe shows, unless that’s all you’re eating!).
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-1/2” cubes
1 ½ cups corn starch
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)
1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
grated zest from one orange
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
Prepare the sauce first. In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
Heat a skillet or frying pan with vegetable oil to 375-degrees.
Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs, another bowl with panko bread crumbs and another bowl with the corn starch, salt and pepper.
Dip chicken in egg mixture, dredge in cornstarch, then again in the eggs and finally in the panko bread crumbs, fry chicken in batches until completely cooked.
To finish the sauce, combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onions.