Indio, California: The sixth and final night of Chinese Week. Yes, I know a week holds seven days, but we are having cheese pizza tomorrow night dagnabbit. This week, we had beef twice, chicken twice, vegetarian once and vegan once. That's a lot of meat for this family. Also a lot of rice.
And don't forget about all the green onion.
So... this dish is not served in China, but it is very popular in Chinese restaurants throughout America. Not sure, but I am fairly certain it usually comes breaded and deep-fried in America, which is certainly not anything you would ever find in China or Taiwan. The only reason I title this recipe "Chinese Orange Chicken" is that I already a French-inspired Orange Chicken recipe on this website and don't want to confuse anyone. (And by anyone, I mean me. As of today, there are 277 recipes on this website; it's a lot for me to handle.)
Authentic or not, this citrusy chicken dish is really delicious, and not gummy or gross like a deep-fried fast-food edition. Less calories as well. Plus, it is very pretty and cooks in just a few minutes. I've made Chinese Orange Chicken a few times over the past month or so, in preparation for this week, and we enjoyed it every time.About one pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
(4 to 6 thighs), cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tablespoons corn starch or potato starch
Peanut or vegetable oil for stir frying
1 red bell pepper, cored and slivered thin lengthwise
3 green onions, sliced into one-inch long pieces
Sesame seeds to garnish, optional
Zest and juice from one orange
(approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup juice)
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium)
2 Tablespoons dry sherry (or water)
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
Prepare the sauce mixture: zest the orange, then juice the orange. Place the zest and orange juice in a small bowl or measuring cup and add the grated ginger root, soy sauce, sherry, honey, sesame oil and dried chili flakes. Set aside.
In a plate or bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch to coat evenly. Heat a large skillet (or wok) over a medium-high flame and coat the bottom generously with oil. Place pieces of the cornstarch-dusted chicken into the pan and let the chicken brown on both sides until just cooked through - 3 or 4 minutes per side. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean plate. Set aside. Remove any excess oil from the skillet, then add the slivered bell pepper to the skillet and stir fry for one minute. Return the cooked chicken, along with the sliced green onion to the skillet. Give the sauce mixture a quick stir, then pour the sauce mixture over all. Stir well to coat and rewarm the chicken. The sauce will quickly thicken; let bubble for about one minute. Transfer to a platter, garnish if desired, and serve. Serves 4, with rice.
visit the recipe page Until my next update, I remain, your "anxiously awaiting pizza" correspondent.
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