Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Takeout Fake-out: Orange Chicken

When I posted our orange bourbon chicken recipe, I mentioned how we had purchased a frozen orange chicken meal from Trader Joe's a few times. Confession: I love Chinese takeout, and I'd gladly eat it several time a week if it were at all good for me. My orange chicken cravings have continued (to no one's surprise), and I knew we needed to come up with a simple, baked alternative that we could make ourselves. No fuss, no deep fryer, just great food.

Like our weeknight calzones, this recipe is designed to be faster and healthier than takeout - not to mention easier on the wallet. When the weather gets warmer, I tend to want to spend less time in the kitchen, so a quick meal becomes more appealing. Having recipes like this in my repertoire keeps me from picking up the phone to order takeout - because I can make the food - from scratch - faster than I can get it delivered!

This dish is actually quite easy to make, and takes about 20 minutes, start to finish. I broke the directions down into a lot of individual steps, but they're all quick and simple.

Curious about those green onions? Check out this post - they're super simple to grow yourself! 

Orange Chicken: Takeout Fake-out
This orange chicken tastes as good as take-out, but is baked instead of fried.
Yield: 2 generous servings

For the chicken:
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 lb raw boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
pinch each salt and black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the sauce:
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 oranges, zest and juice
2 tbsp mirin
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp lite soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and hot rice to serve

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment.
2. Place flour and bread crumbs in a gallon sized baggie.
3. Place chicken in a large bowl with egg and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat chicken pieces with egg.
4. Add the chicken to the baggie with the bread crumb mixture, one piece at a time, shaking off excess egg. Seal the baggie (with extra air inside), and toss to evenly coat chicken pieces.
5. Spread chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
6. While the chicken cooks, in a medium bowl, whisk warm water with cornstarch until cornstarch has dissolved. Add orange zest and juice, mirin, honey, and soy sauce and whisk to combine.
7. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, garlic and ginger and cook until slightly softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add juice mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
8. Remove skillet from heat, add chicken, and toss to coat. Serve topped with green onions and sesame seeds over hot rice.

What takeout or restaurant meal do you wish you could create at home? Do you have any of your own takeout fake-outs? 

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  1. Hi Grace, I saw your discussion on 20SB and wanted to stop by and say hi. I love your blog!
    This look sooooo good! I'll definitely try this, thanks for sharing.:)



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