Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

 
Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

I was looking for something quick and easy to make for supper today, plus I was also kind of craving Chinese food of some kind, any kind.  I didn't necessarily want to pay the high prices of buying a meal from our local Chinese restaurant however.

And to be honest the last few times I have gotten a meal from there, I have found it disappointing.  Could it be possible that my tastes have become Briticised?  Its probably highly likely I suppose!
 
Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

 I used to love to get a Chinese meal from our local restaurant when I lived here before, but I found their food to be quite bland now.  Eileen picked me up one while I was in Quarantine last November, and I bought some for the three of us a few weeks ago when Eileen and Tim were here for supper one night.

Anyways, I decided to wing it and make a simple Orange Chicken recipe for myself here at home. I did size the recipe to feed just two people and I can tell you that it turned out gorgeous!

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
I was really pleased with both the chicken and with the sauce. I will be upfront and tell you that I have never had Orange Chicken from a restaurant.  Its not something I have seen here where I live.

Sweet and sour maybe, but not Orange.  I have heard however that it is a very popular dish in a lot of Chinese restaurants and I was keen to try it myself.


Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

I did a search online for a recipe and found quite a few that were very similar, but with small differences between each. I didn't want to use orange marmalade in my chicken. 

I wanted it to be sweet, but I didn't want it to be too sweet, nor did I want bitter. Nix the marmalade.

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
I did want a nice orange flavor however with a bit of a sour tang to balance out any sour.  So, a sweet and sour, but with orange flavors.

I ended up cobbling together a few different recipes to make a delicious entrée, built specifically for just two people.



Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 

It has a fresh orange flavor and a slight sweetness, but not overly so. At the same time it is garlicky and tangy, a bit gingery and there is a tiny bit of heat.

I chose to use chicken breast meat.  I knew I would be flash frying it so I wasn't too worried about it really drying out. I didn't want to use chicken thigh meat which is greasier. 

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
Chicken breast meat is a much healthier option. If you want to, however,  use chicken thigh meat, by all means do so. Just know that it will take slightly longer to cook it until it is no longer pink inside.

I know a lot of people prefer the thigh meat over the breast, and admittedly it does have a gamier flavor than the breast. This is due to it being from a part of the chicken that works a lot harder.


Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
Many people worry about the breast meat being too dry. Trust me, if you do not overcook it, it will not be dry.  I promise.

My timings are pretty concise, and calculated to cook small bites of chicken breast to perfection. If you aim to have your chicken pieces all cut uniformly in size, or as much as you can do so, they will all cook in the same amount of time.

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
The sauce is a beautiful mix of oriental flavors (aside from the orange juice).  Use fresh orange juice if you can, but a good bottled orange juice will also work well.

In addition I have used soy sauce. I like Kikkoman fermented light soy sauce. It is brewed and not overly salty.  

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
The sweetness comes from the use of some brown sugar, not a lot. Just 1 TBS. You can use the equivalent in Honey or even white sugar if that is what you would prefer.

This is balanced out with a bit of sour which comes from the use of Chinese rice wine vinegar. This is usually seasoned, and soy sauce is also a bit salty, so do be judicious when it comes to adding salt!

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
To give it a bit of zing I have added some powdered ginger. You could add fresh gingerroot in its place, but you will need to add twice as much. 

I did not want to cloud the sauce with bits of things, so for this reason chose to use the powdered ginger and also garlic granules rather than fresh.

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two 
I added a tiny bit of heat by using a small amount of crushed red chili flakes. You can leave this out entirely, or you can amp it up if you are fond of heat.  It is really up to you how much you use.

I don't like my food to bite me back, so I really use this ingredient with caution. 

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

I also think that a really great Chinese dish deserves a really great garnish. It doesn't get much better than spring onions, or scallions as they are also called.  Very finely sliced and scattered over top with a bit of sesame seed for contrast.  Perfect.

I served with some steamed jasmine rice and broccoli. It was a delicious, delicious meal.  I think you will agree with me if you chance to cook it yourself.  If you are wanting to feed more people, it is very easy to double the ingredients as well!  Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

Chinese Orange Chicken for Two

Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Nothing could be easier than this delicious make at home version of a Chinese Take out favorite!

Ingredients

For the chicken:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 TBS cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 TBS canola oil for frying
For the orange sauce:
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) orange juice, divided
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 TBS seasoned Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 TBS finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of crushed red chilies
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (corn flour)
To serve and garnish:
  • 1 spring onion, washed trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp sesame seeds
  • steamed jasmine rice

Instructions

  1. First make the chicken. Whisk the cornstarch and egg whites together with a fork until almost frothy.  Add the chicken and stir it into the mixture to coat all the chicken pieces well. Leave to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken pieces one at a time to prevent them from sticking to each other. Cook, gently moving them around for 2 to 3 minutes until light golden brown. Scoop out onto a plate lined with paper towels and keep warm.
  3. Make the sauce by whisking the 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice, soy sauce, orange zest, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red peppers, garlic and ginger together in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil and allow to bubble for 3 to 4 minutes until the flavor are well melded together.
  4. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) of orange juice and the corn starch.  Whisk this mixture into the sauce mixture and cook, whisking constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Cook for several minutes.
  5. Stir the chicken into the sauce, to coat it well.
  6. Serve immediately spooned over rice. Garnish with some sesame seed and sliced spring onions.

All nutritional data is calculated by the recipe card program and may not be entirely accurate.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #TheEnglishKitchen
Chinese Orange Chicken for Two
All of the content you see here on this page, both photography and written, are the sole property of The English Kitchen, Marie Rayner. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com. 

5 comments

  1. I have never had Orange Chicken before. I've eaten Lemon Chicken (which I love) but not orange. That said, the recipe sounds lovely (not unlike my favourite Lemon Chicken) and easy to do. You've made it look very appetising!

    I'll have to try this one out next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hope you enjoy it Marie. I know I sure did. I'm having the leftovers for breakfast! I know, naughty me! xoxo

      Delete
  2. This looks delicious! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  3. Orange chicken is a long time favorite of mine. However, from a restaurant, it is usually quite greasy, and does use thigh meat as well as a quite thick layer of deep-fried batter coating. Yours looks like a big improvement. I'm going to try it tonight, or as soon as I have all the ingredients. And again, Marie, thank you for all these new recipes that are for just 2 people. It's actually perfect for even 1 person, like myself, as it gives me lunch or dinner for the next day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yum! This looks so delicious and tasty!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy! Please don't attempt to leave spam or comments with links. They will be deleted immediately. I don't even read them. Your comments will also not be posted if they are nasty either to myself or to other readers. Play nice.