Friday, August 5, 2016

A to Z Food Challenge: O

I will be perfectly honest, I couldn't make it to the grocery store. With so much going on and having to handle a few personal situations, I just couldn't get to the store to grab what I needed for today's recipe. However, I did decide to share the actual recipe - one that I've done quite a few times these past few months - so you guys could still get out there and make something delicious! 

Today's recipe is NOT a Trader Joe's item. You could actually buy this particular dish at Trader Joe's - they have it in the frozen food aisle - but I wanted to make you this dish from scratch. It's a recipe I found on Pinterest (See original post HERE by I Wash You Dry and the photo is also from there as well) and I absolutely love it! It's an Orange Chicken recipe that tastes practically IDENTICAL to Panda Express's Orange Chicken! 

When I found this recipe I was over the moon. I absolutely love their Orange Chicken, but I haven't been there in years, because my son's deathly allergic to peanuts and I don't feel like risking it. (They share pots/woks/pans for multiple dishes, so cross contamination is a possibility, so I've been told by employees there.)

With this, you'll be able to make about 4 to 6 plates of deliciously amazing Orange Chicken. You will impress your friends and family, because it's easy, tasty, and a family favorite! At least in my house it is. So without further ado, here's what you'll need! (This is the exact recipe from the website, because it's how I follow it. Please check out the blog HERE. All credit goes to I Wash You Dry for the recipe and photo!)

Canola Oil for frying
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 Egg
1/3 cup Corn Starch
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (cut them into bite sized pieces)

For the Sauce: 
1 1/2 Tsp Fresh Orange Zest
2 tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
3 tbsp Water
1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Canola Oil
1 1/2 tsp Minced Ginger 
3 cloves Garlic (finely minced)

For the Garnish:
Sliced Green Onions
Orange Slices

Directions:

Step 1: Pour 1 to 2 inches of Canola Oil in a small deep fryer or a heavy bottomed pot. If you don't have either of those, simply add a few tablespoons of canola oil to a skillet with high edges and cook the chicken on all sides until they're brown and crispy. Drain them on a paper towel lined plate. Heat to 375 degrees F.

Step 2: In a large bowl combine the sesame oil, 3 tbsp soy sauce, egg, and 1/3 cup corn starch, until a thin batter forms. Add the chicken pieces and let them sit for a few minutes while the oil heats up. Fry the chicken in batches and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

Step 3: To create the sauce, combine the orange zest, orange juice, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp water, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/3 cup or chicken broth, and 2 tbsp corn starch in a bowl and set aside. 

Step 4: Once the chicken is finished cooking, heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the ginger and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. 

Step 5: Once thickened (3 to 4 minutes) add the chicken to the wok and stir to coat with sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions and orange slices and serve over some steamed rice for added deliciousness. 

And you're done!

Incredibly easy, right?! After you sit down to eat your creation, you'll feel like a gourmet chef who started off at Panda Express. Trust me, this is something you'll want to add to your weekly dinner meals!!! Or at least a "special meal" once a month. 

Have a wonderful weekend guys and please, PLEASE be safe. Hug your loved ones a little tighter, kiss them a little longer, and hold them a little longer. And remember, have fun. The memories you make today are the ones you'll smile about later! 

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