Sweet & Crispy Orange Chicken

Chopped, battered and fried, bite sized chunks of chicken, coated in a sweet orange-flavored chili sauce, which caramelizes into a thick sticky glaze. Made with fresh ginger and pressed garlic, these fried little bites are bursting with flavor! With a little bit of prep work, this recipe is super easy to throw together. The original recipe is by Jimmy Wong from Panda Express.

The first time I made this I cut the recipe in half, since I was cooking for 2. However, we ended up wanting more sauce, so I cut the chicken part in half, and made the same amount of sauce. I also had a bit of trouble making the batter in the beginning. The first few times we had to add significantly more water than the recipe called for. Then I tried measuring the flour by weight instead of volume, and it was the perfect amount. I am trying to get into the habit of doing this more to ensure consistency in my recipes.

Let’s begin! Start off by slicing up the chicken into bite size chunks (about 1 inch). Set aside.

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together salt, white pepper, cornstarch and flour.

Make a well and add in egg, water, and oil. Whisk together until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter (add more water if needed).

Gently plop and incorporate the chicken into the batter, stirring to submerge and coat chicken. Place bowl in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I usually start prepping dinner in the afternoon and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Heat up oil in a wok or heavy bottom pan to 350 degrees F. Gently place in the chicken, working in batches, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Set aside on a paper towel lined sheet pan, which I like to keep in the oven so the chicken stays warm.

After the chicken is cooked, it’s time to make the sauce! Set a wok, or heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high head and add in the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add in ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Next, add in both brown and white sugar, stirring to combine.

Then, pour in the orange juice, stirring occasionally as the sugars to dissolve in the liquid. Add in the red pepper flakes as well.

Add in the vinegar and soy sauce, stirring to combine.

Mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour in the pan and stir. When it thickens up to the consistency of maple syrup, the sauce is complete!

Add in the fried chicken and toss around until every piece of chicken is completely coated in the sauce. Drizzle on just a touch of sesame oil, give it one last good stir and dig in! I like to serve this with steamed veggies (kale, cabbage, and broccoli) and fried rice.

Sweet & Crispy Orange Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Sweet and sticky sauce covering every inch of fried little crispy chicken bites.

Ingredients

Fried Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 188 grams flour (which is approximately 1 1/2 cups – measuring by weight is much more accurate, I am trying to get into the habit of doing this more)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6+ cups oil, for frying (I used Peanut Oil)

Sweet Orange Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed or minced (I’ve done both)
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • drizzle of sesame oil

Directions

  1. Cut up the chicken into bite size chunks (about 1 inch). Set aside.
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together: salt, white pepper, cornstarch and flour.
  3. Make a well, and add in egg, water, and oil. Whisk together until it reaches the consistency of pancake batter (add more water if needed).
  4. Gently plop and incorporate the chicken into the batter, stirring to submerge and coat chicken. Place bowl in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Heat up oil in a wok or heavy bottom pan to 350 degrees F. Gently place in the chicken, working in batches, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until lightly golden brown. 
  6. Set aside on a paper towel lined sheet pan, which I like to keep in the oven so the chicken stays warm.
  7. After the chicken is cooked, it’s time to make the sauce! Set a wok, or heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high head and add in the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add in ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  8. Next, add in both brown and white sugar, stirring to combine.
  9. Then, pour in the orange juice, stirring occasionally as the sugars to dissolve in the liquid. Add in the red pepper flakes as well.
  10. Add in the vinegar and soy sauce, stirring to combine.
  11. Mix the cornstarch and water together, then pour in the pan and stir. When it thickens up to the consistency of maple syrup, the sauce is complete!
  12. Add in the fried chicken and toss around until every piece of chicken is completely coated in the sauce. Drizzle on just a touch of sesame oil, give it one last good stir and dig in!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s