Orange Chicken: Citrusy Chinese-American

Orange Chicken is a zesty, sweet, and sometimes spicy dish that has become a beloved staple in Chinese-American cuisine. This delectable entree features crispy, deep-fried chicken pieces that are coated in a thick, tangy orange-flavored sauce. The dish is a perfect representation of the fusion between Chinese cooking techniques and American tastes, creating a mouthwatering balance of flavors that dance on the palate. Beloved by many for its bright and bold sauce, Orange Chicken is a go-to comfort food that’s commonly found on the menu of many Chinese restaurants across the United States. It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s ideal for anyone looking to indulge in a little bit of sweet, citrus-infused goodness.

Ingredients for Orange Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Cooking Steps for Orange Chicken

  • Dredge the chicken pieces in flour, dip them into beaten eggs, and then coat with panko breadcrumbs.
  • Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 350°F (175°C) and fry the chicken in batches until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  • In a saucepan, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add orange juice, soy sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, and orange zest to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.
  • Toss the fried chicken in the sauce until well coated.
  • Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or your choice of side.

In summary, Orange Chicken is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines the comforting crunch of fried chicken with the invigorating taste of citrus. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy a Chinese-American classic at home. When it comes to making Orange Chicken, the freshness of the orange juice and zest is crucial—they provide the bright, fresh flavors that elevate the dish. Additionally, using a high-quality soy sauce and fresh ginger will contribute depth to the sauce. When frying the chicken, ensure the oil is at the correct temperature for a crispy, not greasy, result. Orange Chicken is not merely a dish, but an experience—a delightful mix of textures and tastes that’s sure to bring a little zest to your dinner table.

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