Orange Chicken with Scallions

If you are like me, you are constantly on an endless quest to find a consistently good Asian delivery place. Just when you think you have found a great place, you get sesame chicken that tastes like cardboard. I am starting to think that we can categorize great Asian take-out food with the Loch Ness Monster and a husband who can empty the dishwasher and put everything in the right place. They just don’t exist. I recently decided to bite the bullet and buy myself a rice cooker, dust off my wok, and make the food myself.

I have used my new rice cooker twice and it has already become one of those things that I don’t know how I lived without in the kitchen. I love it! If you don’t have one, I highly recommend that it be your next purchase in kitchen toys. One of the biggest things to remember when cooking with a wok is that everything happens very quickly, so make sure to do all your prep before you start, and have everything within an arms reach.

Ingredients

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (Keep the whites and greens separate)

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the zest from the orange in long, wide strips. If necessary, remove any large patches of bitter white pith from the zest using a paring knife. Juice the orange into a small bowl and mix with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and red pepper.

Sprinkle the chicken cubes with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. In a mini food processor, process the egg white, cornstarch, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt until smooth. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the cornstarch batter.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet or large stir-fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Using tongs, transfer about half of the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, flipping every minute or so, until the chicken browns and crisps all over and is firm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. With clean tongs, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet (use more if you need it) and repeat the cooking process with the remaining chicken; transfer to the plate.

Put the orange zest strips in the skillet and cook, stirring, until they darken in spots, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir the orange juice mixture and add it to the pan. Let it boil for about 10 seconds and then add the chicken and the scallion whites. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce reduces to a glaze and the chicken is just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the scallion greens with white rice.

Source: Fine Cooking Annual: Volume 3

  1. Ooo I think I will try this!

    Also, I’m glad to know that Dan doesn’t know how to empty the dishwasher either.

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