Do you like Chinese food? If you live in a city, you probably have many different Chinese food options to choose from. Those living in a small town might not be as lucky, unfortunately. Still, there’s something unbeatable about the tangy, salty and sometimes greasy taste that comes with Chinese cuisine (or at least Americanized Chinese food). Even if you’re in a food desert, we have a great recipe for you today that can bring those flavors right into your own home.
Orange chicken is one of the more popular dishes you’ll see at most places that serve Chinese cuisine. Although the recipe seems tricky to decipher, it’s actually pretty simple to replicate right at home—assuming you have a slow cooker handy. They really do come in handy for just about everything, don’t they?
Here’s what you need:
- 6 boneless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 oranges for zesting
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon of peeled and minced ginger (to make paste)
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
Here’s what you do:
1. First, make sure you prepare all your ingredients. To make the ginger paste, first peel and chop your ginger knobs very finely before mashing it up as much as possible (with a mortar and pestle would work well here, or in a food processor). If you want to skip this step, feel free to buy pre-made ginger paste if you can find it. The same goes for orange juice—though fresh is best, buying a higher-quality pre-made brand can substitute in a pinch.
2. Once you’re ready, mix together your chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onion, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper in your slow cooker. After that, throw in your chicken cubes and let it cook for 30 minutes on high.
3. In the meantime, mix together three tablespoons of cornstarch with an equal amount of water. Incorporate these ingredients until they form a slurry and then pour it into the slow cooker, mixing it well. Once it’s all combined, let the mixture cook for another two and a half hours on high, stirring it all up halfway through.
3. Once it’s done, plate the chicken and garnish it all with your green onion and sesame seeds!
Though the initial cook time will help the chicken absorb the flavors, adding in the slurry makes the sauce thicken up for a truly authentic flavor. Ideally, you could serve this dish with some fluffy white rice—start cooking it about 20 minutes before your orange chicken is set to be done to time it just right! As an added bonus, you can also toast your sesame seeds in a pan over medium-high heat for three to five minutes as well to unleash their flavor even more. As with similar meals, feel free to add sesame oil or soy sauce as you see fit.
Although this version isn’t breaded, you can add an extra step by coating your chicken in cornstarch in a Ziploc bag and very lightly frying them in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. Though it probably goes without saying, you don’t have to fully cook the chicken as they’ll finish off later.
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Source: Cooktop Cove