Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Orange Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Brown Rice

This was the first "Chinese" food I ever made from a recipe. I really loved the basic flavors of food court chinese orange chicken so I found the recipe to Panda Express' Orange Chicken. I have since modified the recipe to improve the quality and flavors of the dish. The roasted broccoli was something new I tried also and it was also incredibly delicious. I had my wife's family over for dinner so this recipe feeds 8 people. It costs only about $20 and takes about 1.5 hours.

Orange Chicken

1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 lbs of free range chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons Chinese 5 Spice powder
3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon of sesame oil
6 scallions, chopped
1/2 a white onion, fine chopped
2 tablespoon of fresh ginger, fine chopped
5 garlic cloves, fine chopped
1 tablespoon of red crushed chili flakes
1 Serrano chili pepper, fine chopped

1/8 cup mirin (rice wine)
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (can used carton OJ)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest, fine chopped

1 tablespoons black sesame seeds
sliced orange
scallion tops, chopped

Start the two oils in a large pot on medium heat. Mix the flour, cornstarch, 5 spice and salt then add the chicken pieces slowly. Make sure chicken is very well coated. Shake off the excess and then add the pieces to the hot oil in batches. Make sure you only do a few pieces at a time and do not over crowd the pan. Cook chicken for about 2 to 3 minutes on each or until golden. We will cook them through later in the orange sauce. Set them aside on paper towels.

Once the chicken is finished, pour off most of the remaining oil. Add the 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan and turn it on medium. Now add the onion, scallion, pepper, ginger, garlic and hot peppers. Cook that for 3 minutes stir constantly. Now add 1 cup of orange juice, soy sauce, sugar and zest. Turn the heat to medium low and let cook for 5 minutes. Now add the golden chicken to the sauce and the final 1 cup off orange juice. Let that cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Scoop into a large serving bowl and top with sesame seeds, orange slices and scallions.

Roasted Broccoli

2 packages of organic broccoli
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 handful of chopped ginger chunks
1 lemon sliced
2 tablespoon of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup of fresh orange juice

Start the oven on 400 degrees. Place a casserole dish filled with hot water on the bottom shelf. This will create a humid oven. Peel the broccoli stems and chopped each head of broccoli into quarters. Arrange in a half sheet tray. Top with sliced onions ginger chunks and lemon. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Spray the broccoli with vegetable oil using a mister. Roast broccoli on top shelf for 25 minutes or until its begins getting color. Salt and pepper again and serve.

I also made some brown rice and served that along with the chicken and broccoli. This is always a hit with everyone and tastes way better then takeout Chinese. At $20 for eight servings it is also significantly cheaper. Enjoy!

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