Make your own takeout Orange Chicken
This post was originally published in May 2015. The pictures and recipe have been updated.
Lately my family has become obsessed with takeout orange chicken. There’s just something about that rich tangy sauce that is so delicious. I finally decided I needed to find a way to create it at home.
For the good and the bad, we live 30 minutes from town. The good: Country living where we can get away from it all, raise farm animals and a huge garden. The bad: We work and go to school in town. The kids are all involved in sports and other activities so we get stuck in town just about every day. On weekdays we leave our house by 6:00 in the morning and often don’t make it home until after 6:00 at night. We don’t usually buzz home between activities because there just isn’t enough time. This makes dinner extra challenging!
We do try to eat dinner at home as much as possible. Since orange chicken has been one of our favorite takeouts, I decided to try to make it at home. This can be pulled together in under an hour, but I’ve found some time saving measures for those busy weeknights!
On soccer practice nights, the kids are starving and every minute counts. I need to get the food on the table as quick as possible. In order to avoid a lot of prepared foods, I often get meals ready on the weekends or even the night before. Not every meal works to prepare ahead of time, but this orange chicken worked with several make ahead steps. The orange chicken didn’t suffer a bit in flavor and this weeknight meal was on the table in 20 minutes with my make ahead tips!
Here are my make ahead steps:
- Brown and cook all the chicken, let cool and then cover and place in the fridge.
- Mix sauce in a separate container and place in fridge.
- Just before dinner, get a pot of rice started.
- Heat a large saute pan, add sauce.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer stirring often. Add Chicken.
- Keep cooking until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce clings to the chicken.
- Serve over hot rice.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
Keep in mind, if you aren’t pressed for time, you can make everything at one time. Just follow the steps in the recipe!
Delicious orange chicken
- 2 pounds Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
- Zest from 1 Orange
- Juice from 1 orange
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/3 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 1/3 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce I used low sodium
- 3 Cloves Garlic Crushed
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sweet red chili sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Cut chicken into 2 inch pieces.
Place 1/2 cup corn starch in a large zipper top bag. Add chicken. Seal bag and shake so all pieces are coated in corn starch. Gently shake off each piece of chicken to remove excess corn starch. Set on a plate and set aside.
Mix zest, juice, vinegar, water, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chili sauce and 2 Tablespoons corn starch in a bowl.
In a large, hot saute pan, add 1- 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add just enough pieces of chicken to cover pan. You do not want the pan overcrowded or the pieces won't brown properly.
Brown each side.
Once all sides are browned, remove from pan. Chicken might not be fully cooked, it will finish cooking in sauce.
Continue browning all chicken pieces.
When all chicken is cooked, add sauce to pan. Bring to a boil.
When starting to thicken, add chicken back to pan.
Continue cooking until sauce thickens and chicken cooks through.
Serve hot over rice and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Time saving tips:
Sauce can be made ahead of time. Chicken can be cooked ahead of time and then kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Bring sauce to a boil. Add chicken. Cook until sauce is thickened and chicken is warmed through.
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