CREAMY ORANGE CHICKEN
I love Mandarin Oranges and had recently had an Orange Chicken dish at a Chinese restaurant that was overcooked and not to my standards. So I made this. Like all entrée dishes, a wide variability in the amounts of any ingredient is possible, and you should doctor things to your taste. More sauce, less sauce, etc. Make sure that you use Chinese rice, and not something like Uncle Ben’s, or you can use noodles or potatoes.
Some notes about the chicken: Dark meat is more forgiving and tends not to overcook. I have used chicken breasts but make sure that they are not cut too thin, or they can dry out. I prefer boneless/skinless thighs. (If you choose bone-in, you’ll need 2 lbs.)
A note on the onion: I like them ¼ inch thick, but others like them as thin as possible. Do what you wish.
A note on thickening: the standard approach is to add flour to cold liquid and then mix it in. I like my cold liquid to be orange liqueur or, alternatively, orange juice
1 1/2 lb Chicken, thighs1/4 cup 1/4 cup Cornstarch (or flour) to coat Flour for thickening Peanut Oil plus butter (50/50) 1/2 cup Whipping cream (or save calories with regular cream) 1 Onion, large, sliced 1 lb Mushrooms, fresh, sliced 1-2 cans Mandarin oranges (save the sugary liquid) Broccoli or thin-sliced carrots Sticky rice or noodles Salt and pepper to taste 1tbs Hot cayenne pepper (optional). I like it spicy.
- Coat the chicken with cornstarch/salt/pepper (shake in a bag).
- Heat the oil/butter very hot in a wok or fry pan, and fry the chicken. This will take about 5 minutes and chicken should be turned. If there is a lot of chicken do it by turns. Don’t overcook the chicken. Don’t make the pieces too large or too small.
- Remove chicken to a side dish.
- Remove all but a few tbs. of the oil, and cook the onion. You may need to add some water to keep it from burning. Optionally, sprinkle the onion with the hot Cayenne pepper (flakes or powder)
- Cut the carrots very thin or use a peeler and add in sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms can add a lot of liquid. Add at the very end, and it will take maybe 1-2 minutes to cook. Add in the orange slices (without their syrup).
- Add 1 tbs flour to the ¼ cup cold Mandarin-juice (or orange juice or orange liquor) and stir well.
- Add the cream and quickly bring to a boil so that you can add the flour to thicken
- Return the chicken to the wok or pan briefly.
- Serve over sticky rice (about ¾ cup per person) or noodles.
John says that it was his mother who inspired his love of cooking and baking at an early age. (She cooked vegetables in boil-able packages.)