Saturday, February 21, 2009

For the Love of Food: Part 2



So, after the Valentine's Day blintzes, I started in on the next meal: orange chicken. I first made this when Allie and I were living together. For Christmas one year, our mom gave her a Top Secret Recipes book and we started cooking our way through it. Some of them were ridiculous (come on, a two-hour process just to make your own Twinkies??) but most of them we liked.

The orange chicken recipe was a clone from Panda Express. I've never been there, so I can't vouch for accuracy, but I can vouch for tastiness.

Let me also say that this recipe takes approximately six years to make, on account of having to hand-bread every little tiny piece of chicken. Perseverance is key.


Orange Chicken
(With thanks to Top Secret Recipe's Todd Wilbur, who thanks the fine folks at Panda Express)

Sauce:
  • 1.5 c water
  • Juice from one orange
  • A little orange zest, if you're feeling really wacky
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c rice vinegar
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • A few tablespoons minced water chestnuts
  • 1/2 t minced ginger
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • A handful of chopped green onion
  • A sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • 7 t cornstarch

Chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 c ice water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c self-rising flour (although I've made it with all-purpose flour, too)
  • 1/4 salt
Start by combining all sauce ingredients (except cornstarch) in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring often. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool.

Next, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Marinate with one cup of the sauce. Refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and grease lightly.

In a bowl, beat eggs and add ice water. In another bowl, combine flour and salt. Bread chicken, dipping in flour, egg mixture, and then flour again. Your fingers will become very sticky and disgusting. This is a labor of love. Place pieces on cookie sheet.

Bake the chicken 4-6 minutes. Then broil on high for an additional 2-3 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, add 3 T of water to the 7 t cornstarch. Heat the sauce over high heat, then mix in the cornstarch to thicken.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice.


The food: Orange chicken
The verdict: Yummy, but takeout would be simpler

NEXT POST, tune in for the exciting conclusion to the Valentine's Day meal!

2 comments:

Ellen said...

YUM! I think this might need to be one we try.... it does sound yummy!

Dan Griffin said...

Glad to see someone other than Katie and I like the Todd Wilbur books. I made the PF Changs Lettuce Wraps as our Valentine meal (from Top Secret 2).