Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I enjoy Chinese whenever I get out of my box and eat at a fast food joint. If you’re not an ‘authentic Chinese’ aficionado, you may find this make-your-own-at-home version of Orange Chicken to be everything you look for in classic Americanized Chinese. It may seem complicated, but comes together in short order.
There’s just something that draws me towards the food court at my local mall. I think I’m not alone. Anyone who spends hours in a mall with sore feet and heavy bags to carry deserves a fast food break.
I’ve tried making baked orange chicken before, and I was less than impressed. Yes, it was convenient - and yes, it was healthier than deep-fried. But it lacked that authentic crunch and flavor that defines this classic on every Chinese menu.
I used my cast iron pan for deep frying, and I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I’ve had it stored away in my camping gear for several years - but now I it gets to hang out with my other pans.
When I saw this recipe (found at thenoshery.com) I decided to take the plunge. I only changed a few things because overall it was a flawless recipe. We tried it two ways. One - exactly as it reads. Two - I omitted the second egg dip and coating in Panko.
Both were really delicious, but we preferred the one with the final coating of Panko. The sauce was perfect with just enough sweet/sour tang, and the ginger was really subtle. I don’t like Orange Chicken that is too spicy, so I omitted the red pepper flakes. If you want it with a little heat, don’t forget to add it - and bump it up to your liking.
For those who don’t like a heavy breading, but still enjoy deep fried - simply omit the second dip in Panko. You may want to toss the chicken in the sauce prior to serving, but I think it’s better ladled over the top on each serving plate.
If you're in the mood to skip the mall and eat at home, try the recipe - found here: