Orange Chicken

Chinese cuisine has always had a special place in our heart. Growing up, it was the first cuisine outside the traditional north or south Indian cuisines that we tried and experimented with. In Delhi, our parents introduced us to the Berco's chain of restaurants and that is where we started developing taste for Chilly Chicken and Vegetable Manchurian. Dishes which are never heard of in China but are super hits in India. 

We also had a similar observation of unique dishes in US. While the Chinese restaurants really suck there in general, the one dish we liked was Orange Chicken. We don't think it is a regular dish in China, but the sweet and sour flavour works very well. Try this appetizer as a nice variation to the now clich├ęd chilly chicken.




Ingredients

250 gm boneless chicken, cut in small pieces
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1 medium onion, cut in squares
1/2 cup red and yellow bell peppers, cut in squares
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp dry white wine (optional)
1 tsp rice vinegar (any other vinegar would work too)
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 egg
Salt and white pepper to taste (A little more than usual might be needed to balance the sweetness of the orange juice)



Method

1. Marinate the chicken in a pinch of salt and white pepper, 1 tsp dry white wine, and grated ginger for about 30 minutes

2. Now prepare a dipping mixture by whisking one egg and 1 tsp cornstarch along with a pinch of salt



3. In a non-stick pan, heat a bit of oil. Dip the marinated chicken in the dipping mix, letting the excess drip off and shallow-fry in the pan for about 3 minutes on each side. Keep aside



4. In a fresh pan, heat a bit of oil and add the finely chopped garlic.

Note: Chinese stir-fries should always be made on a high flame

5. As the garlic starts getting brown, add the onions and the bell peppers.

6. Now add the ingredients for the sauce - 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest, 1 tsp white wine, vinegar, cornstarch (mixed in 1 tbsp cold water) 



7. Cook for about 10 minutes and as the sauce begins to dry, add the chicken pieces.

8. Cook for another 5 minutes and take it off heat.

Serve hot - its a sweet and sour kind of chicken with a very nice orange smell and taste. A super mellow Chinese starter, quite different from the fiery chilly chicken




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This blog is from the kitchen of Neha Gupta and Mridul Karkara. We go about our days pretending to be HR Managers and Business Consultants respectively, though in reality, just thinking about our next big meal! This food blog is a representation of our experiments in the kitchen and for the simple joy of cooking and sharing!

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