"Tastes Like A Restaurant" Orange Chicken

Last week I was in the mood for something different and I was walking down the store aisles trying to think of something to do with this chicken that I had just put in my basket.  In the frozen section I saw some orange chicken. I love Asian food so that settled it and I googled an Orange Chicken recipe right there on the spot and came up with this one at Food.com.

There were many versions of orange chicken, some baked, some fried. This one fries the chicken in a batter.

Ingredients (Amended)

The original recipe called for rice wine in the sauce; I omitted that because of the alcohol.

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil ( for frying)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup flour
Orange Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon gingerroot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar*
  • Zest from 1 orange**

*In some comments, reviewers said they used brown sugar instead of the vinegar, so I did too.
**Could use orange juice as well

A few notes about this recipe:
  • Several people in the comments said that this amount of orange sauce was not enough, so some even quadrupled it (which I did).
  • Many complained about the directions being confusing.  I amended the directions below to reflect what I did, but you can see the original recipe here.

What to Do

Cooking the Chicken:
  1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl, set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl stir egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl stir together 1/2 cup of the cornstarch and all the flour.
  4. Fold the cornstarch/flour mixture into the egg mixture to form a batter. (This is what I did differently).
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  6. Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp. 
  7. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.

This was my chicken after frying! So happy with the results because I generally am no good at deep frying things.  This time deep frying, I used our candy thermometer that came with our candy making kit to get the temperature just right and I think that made all the difference.  I set the microwave timer and cooked the pieces for 3 minutes, sometimes a skosh longer.  It was hard to keep everyone from eating the chicken at this point and I got a lot of "yums" and this is "awesome."

Making the Orange Sauce

Now the instructions were also unclear here about the orange sauce because at one point it said "add the orange sauce" but didn't say previously how to make it.  So this is what I did:

  1. In a tablespoon or so of oil, I stir fried/sauteed the green onion, garlic, and gingerroot in a saucepan. (I put in the garlic last because I know it can burn quickly). At this point you could add the red chili pepper flakes, but I, unlike my kids, do not like spicy, hot foods, so I omitted it.
  2. Then I added the water, sesame oil (my new favorite thing), soy sauce, white sugar, and brown sugar (I just used the same amount as I would have for the vinegar--but I did make more than one batch worth so I adjusted it accordingly) and I added the orange zest (some reviewers said they used orange juice. I can't remember, I may have added some orange juice as well).  I stirred and let simmer for a few minutes. 
  3. Next, I mixed the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with some water to form a liquidy mix, and I added that to the sauce and let it simmer until it thickened up.
  4. Add the chicken to the sauce in a skillet and let simmer for a few minutes.
Chicken simmering in the pan

  1. Serve over rice (the recipe said jasmine rice, but I just used regular white rice and threw in some steamed carrots and broccoli, along with canned corn.)
The final product!

This was such a hit. One of my high schoolers came home from football practice and ate some and he said he thought it was from a restaurant at first.

I encourage you to view the original recipe as well as the comments below it as they were very helpful for me.