Last weekend, a friend of mine decided to go into a very industrious cooking frenzy and made a whole bunch of meals, slow cooked and otherwise to freeze for the week. One of the dishes that she made was a recipe for orange chicken which she found on Pinterest (doesn't every recipe come from Pinterest these days? or at least it feels like it?).
I was interested in the recipe since we hadn't had orange chicken in a very long time, and for that matter, not even lemon chicken. The reason for that is because being of the Chinese ethnic persuasion, orange chicken and lemon chicken was always the dish that the "kwai lows" (ie, foreigners) ordered when they went to a Chinese restaurant. Us Chinese would turn our noses up on them and the dish because, well, we'd eat more authentic dishes, of course!! Seriously, though, sweet and sour pork is one of my favorite Chinese dishes at a Chinese restaurant, so I really have no excuse about being a snob about orange or lemon chicken.
Snobbishness aside, this recipe looked tasty (the picture on the Pinterest post looked really nice and don't they say we eat with our eyes?) and I wanted to try it. It was time we had something slightly ethnic in our cooking repertoire and dinner menu rather than your usual pedestrian American or Italian fare. This one was at least Asian-ish and had different flavors from the tomatoey, cheesy, beefy or chickeny goodness I usually served up.
I'm going to serve this with brown rice and steamed broccoli.
Here's the very simple RECIPE for the orange chicken:
- 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks
- 1/3 cup flour
- olive oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoon ketchup
- 200ml frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
- 4 Tablespoon brown sugar
- In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.
- Pour the flour in a small bowl.
- Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.
- Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.
- The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.
- After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot.
- Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.
- Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.
I bought a 500ml carton of the orange concentrate and didn't want to end up with too much of the orange concentrate on my hands so decided to be generous with it. I used about 250ml of it in the dish and that worked out really well.
My brown sugar had also hardened to almost a rock-like state (from not being used in a long time) so I ended up popping it into the Thermomix to blitz it up. I then just tossed all the ingredients for the sauce into the Thermomix and just mixed it up in there.
I think I've said this before, but I don't have a crock pot, so I used a cast iron pot and put it in the oven at 90dC for 3 hours.
This turned out to be super tasty. Orangey but not too orangey and the sauce was so good that I wanted to drink it (which I did when I was putting away the leftovers!).
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