This is one of those crowd pleaser foods: crispy, sweet, sticky, a tiny drop of heat-- or more if you like it spicy. In the time it would take to wait for delivery, you can prepare your very own easy orange chicken without orange juice from scratch. Oh, and no tipping necessary! This dish goes great alongside other Chinese dishes like pastrami egg rolls and Mongolian beef.
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Side dish suggestions
This is such a tasty and versatile dish that compliments a lot of different side dishes. Here are some suggestions of sides to serve:
- Vegetable lo mein noodles
- Crispy potato latkes
- Sesame chicken
- Mushroom Barley Soup
- Quinoa with cranberries and nuts
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Mixed bell peppers
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
Tips For Cooking With Ginger
Some people have mentioned to me that the thought of cooking with ginger is overwhelming. It's true: ginger is ugly, and bumpy, and you never need all of it so it just sort of ends up drying out in the fruit bowl. Fear not, here are some Tips for Cooking with Ginger:
- Ginger lasts a very long time in the freezer, stored in a zip top bag. Use what you need and return to the freezer for your next use.
- The easiest way to peel ginger is with the rim of a spoon. Grab any spoon from your drawer and scrape away. This works best when the ginger is fresh, not frozen, so consider peeling it when you buy it and then you can store your peeled ginger in the freezer for future use.
- Sometimes I forget to peel my ginger before I freeze it. I microplane my ginger with the peel on. It's totally fine!
- Speaking of fine, grating ginger with a microplane makes the ginger extremely fine and almost powderlike so you will not end up with any spicy ginger chunks in your food.
The orange flavor in the sauce comes from the zest, or peel, of the orange so be sure to wash your orange very well. Some people even call this orange peel chicken. No orange juice is needed in this recipe.
I find the easiest way to zest an orange is with a microplane. I also use my microplane to grate ginger and garlic as well. In this recipe where it says to grate ginger and mince garlic, I used my microplane. It is so quick and easy to use, so easy to clean, and takes up very little space in the drawer which are major requirements in my kosher kitchen where I have two of pretty much every item.
A lot of cheap Chinese take out restaurants bread the chicken with a thick batter that is oftentimes more batter than chicken. This recipe does not use any breading just a light egg and flour dredge to create a nice crust on the chicken. It also helps the sauce stick to each and every delicious bite.
Yes, this will freeze very well. Make sure to put the chicken in an air-tight freezer bag before freezing.
Easy Orange Chicken Without Orange Juice
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1" chunks
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon oil plus more for frying
- 1 cup corn starch plus 1 tbsp
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 orange zest only
- 1 ½ tablespoon grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste preference
- Cut chicken into 1" chunks, trimming off fat.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken chunks and stir to coat.
- In a separate bowl mix together 1 cup cornstarch and flour.
- In a third bowl, make orange sauce by combining 1 tablespoon cornstarch, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar, and orange zest. Set aside.
- Heat cooking oil in a frying pan or wok over medium high heat to 375ºF.
- Take a small handful of chicken chunks and dredge in flour mixture. Coat chicken on all sides.
- Fry chicken until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
- Let chicken drain on wire rack and continue to cook remaining chicken in small batches. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
- Drain oil from pan leaving only a small amount coating the bottom of the pan.
- Over medium high heat, cook grated ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes for 10-15 seconds until scent is released but do not let it turn brown.
- Pour in the bowl of orange sauce and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to thicken for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Remove from heat and add in cooked chicken. Toss to coat on all sides. Enjoy!