Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saucy Zesty Orange Chicken

'Something different' and zesty was the order of the day. 'Chicken' it should be, ruled G. So it was that this past weekend I found myself leafing through my earmarked recipes.
'Orange Chicken' seemed to fit the bill.Spicy and saucy we hadnt made it in our kitchen for a while.
There are many ways to do this.But my past attempts with this recipe and others have taught me, that what works for my critics E, R and G is spicy, and what works for 'me-yours truly' is fast and fuss-free.
This truly in every way is a gourmet tasting recipe. But if you are looking for a 'Gourmet Production' look elsewhere.

And like all my recipes, please adjust the spices/sauces to suit your palate.
Dont forget to see note at bottom to find variations and substitutions.

So here is how it came to our table.

What went into it:
2 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped green onions.(optional).

For the Sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
1 fresh orange peeled
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grated orange zest/peel
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp red pepper flakes

How it was made:
Blend/puree all the ingredients for the sauce, into a salsa-like consistency.Marinate the cleaned chicken pieces in the sauce for upto 2+hrs in refrigerator.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.Mix the flour , salt and pepper. Roll each piece of marinated chicken in the flour to cover both sides. Set aside the sauce. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a paper lined plate. Remove excess oil from skillet to leave only about 2 tsp . Heat the pan and add the chopped green onions. Saute and add all the sauce used for marination.Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.Reduce heat, add the fried chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot with any rice variety or bread.

Ps: I have always used fresh mandarin or 'cuties' orange for this recipe. You can alternatively add fresh orange juice instead. Also remember to not throw the peel if using fruit. I add a small piece of the peel (1 Tbsp grated worth ) to the sauce.

If you want a thicker sauce/gravy add a little cornstarch dissolved in water to the sauce before adding the chicken.
When in a rush I have skipped frying the chicken and just cooked the marinated chicken in sauce. I did not find a defined change in taste but G vouches the frying adds the needed crunch.
Alternatively you can not puree the sauce ingredients and just add all of it into the pan. Bring to boil. Cool and then marinate the chicken in it!

So that is variations one too many!
Will you try this in your kitchen?
Tell me how!
Until another culinary muse,
Bon Appetite.

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