Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Orange Chicken & Jasmine Rice

I have to admit, my boys are not the most exotic eaters when it comes to food.  They turn their noses up at a lot of veggies.  (Although I keep trying.)  And it's difficult to get them to try things that have more flavor or great things cooked together.  So we usually stick to simple recipes.  This is one of our favorites for (Just like Eating Out, But Eating In Nights...not to say we eat out a lot, actually we hardly eat out at all, but sometimes the boys crave things they have gotten at restaurants, so we make one of our copycat recipes like this one)...because this is just like most Chinese restaurants Orange Chicken dishes.  
The original recipe we discovered through Todd Wilbur's book "The Best of Top Secret Recipes" and from there we adapted and changed it just slightly.  He has many great cookbooks with thousands of recipes.  Great site, worth checking out.  
With no further is the recipe we used to make this wonderful chicken.


  • 3 boneless chicken breasts cubed into bite size pieces
  • 3-4 cups of peanut oil (can use vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flake
  • 5 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp arrowroot
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup cold ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsifted cake flour
  • 2 tbsp powder sugar
  • 2 tbsp sliced water chestnuts

  1. Combine the following ingredients in a small saucepan; 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, green onion, & red pepper flake.  All over med to high heat.  Stir while bringing it to a boil.  Once it reaches a good boil, remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit and leave it uncovered.  
  2. Take 1 cup of the marinade above and pour it into a ziplock baggie and coat cubed chicken completely.  Allow chicken to marinate in this sauce for a few hours.  At least 1 hour, but 2-3 hours is better.  Now cover the remaining sauce and leave it to cool until chicken is ready.  
  3. Next, after chicken is done marinating, preheat peanut oil in wok to 350 degrees.  
  4. Combine cornstarch and arrowroot together in a bowl and add 3 tbsp of water.  Stir together well until dissolved.  Pour this into sauce in pan from earlier and reheat over med to high heat until it begins to bubble and thickens.  Stir well, cover and remove from heat.  
  5. Mix together i cup of ice water and an egg in a bowl.  Add in baking soda and salt.  Add 3/4 cup of flour into this mixture and stir until just blended.  Should still have a few lumps in it.  Last gently add 1/4 cup flour with 2 tbsp powdered sugar to this mixture and mix it with just 2-3 stirs of a fork.  Some of the powder should still be on top.  
  6. Put the remaining 1/2 cup of flour into a separate medium bowl.
  7. Dip each piece of chicken first into the flour, then into the batter.  Coat well.  It's ok if it is drippy.  (NOTE:  This is a messy recipe!)  Allow to drip into hot oil, makes for great crispy pieces later, yum!  Slide chicken gently into oil.  Fry chicken until golden brown, about 4-5 mins.  Make sure each time you take out chicken and before you add more that your oil has time to hit 350 degrees again, putting in new chicken will always cool it off a bit.  When removing chicken place onto a cookie sheet or tray covered in paper towels to drain chicken.  (NOTE:  To test for doneness, internal temp of chicken should be above 185!)
  8. As almost all the chicken is done, reheat sauce again quickly on stove.  Place chicken in large bowl and pour sauce over top of your chicken just prior to serving.  I added a few sliced water chestnuts into my finished dish.  

Yum!  We served the Orange Chicken with Jasmine rice that we cooked in our rice cooker.  It was amazing and smelled heavenly in our kitchen all night long.  

What is your favorite chicken recipe?  We LOVE chicken a thousand different ways, just hold the veggies for my boys and put them all on MY plate.  Oh how I wished I could get them to eat more veggies.  What are your tips that worked with your kids to get them to eat/try more foods?  Share in the comments below.  

A few other recipes to try and enjoy!

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