Chinese Orange Chicken

It was not too long ago when we went to visit my wife’s uncle who was in town visiting. Chinese food was on the menu, and there was one thing, the orange chicken, where I could not get enough of. There is something about this Chinese orange chicken that just has you coming back for more. I’m not sure if it is the sauce, or the crispy nuggets of chicken. Heck, it’s probably the combination that got me. So after I have made lemon chicken, which is somewhat similar, I decided to take my stab at making this delicious recipe.

Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe
Chinese Orange Chicken Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups of canola oil, plus 1 additional tbsp
  • ½ cup corn starch, plus 1 additional tbsp
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • zest of 2 oranges, juice of 1 orange
  • Cooked jasmine rice

Start by making the sauce. To a small mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, dark sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, orange zest, one tablespoon of corn starch, and orange juice. Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Set the mixture to the side until it is ready to use.

Next, get a dredging station together. To one bowl, mix the eggs, salt, and black pepper.  To another bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch.

To a frying pan, add the 2 cups of canola and bring it to a medium heat. Once your oil reaches 350 degrees, you are ready to fry the chicken. During this time, add the chicken pieces to the egg mixture, lift up and allow the egg mixture to drip off a bit, then add into the flour mixture, making sure you coat the chicken. Gently shake off any excess flour mixture, the place into the preheated frying pan.

Do this in batches. Cook for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown. Remove with your kitchen spider or slotted spoon, and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Chinese Orange Chicken Ingredients
Chinese Orange Chicken Ingredients

After all of the chicken is cooked, take another large skillet, and add the additional oil.

Heat to a medium heat, then toss in the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for about 30 seconds, then mix in the green onions and chili flakes. Add the Chinese rice wine, give a good stir, then add in the sauce mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken, and the sugar dissolve. Once you have accomplished that, add in the chicken pieces, give a good stir, and serve over jasmine rice.

Did this remind me of the Chinese orange chicken weeks ago? Yes. Was it better? Yes. Did it quiet my kitchen table from all of my hungry eaters? Yes.

If you are looking for a spectacular orange chicken recipe, and one that is super easy to make, give this one a try. It will satisfy your Chinese food cravings, plus it feeds a small army. Hope you enjoy!

Chinese Orange Chicken
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1½″ pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups of canola oil, plus 1 additional tbsp
  • ½ cup corn starch, plus 1 additional tbsp
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Ingredients for the sauce:
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • zest of 2 oranges, juice of 1 orange
  • Cooked jasmine rice
Instructions
  1. Start by making the sauce. To a small mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, dark sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, orange zest, one tablespoon of corn starch, and orange juice. Stir to incorporate all of the ingredients. Set the mixture to the side until it is ready to use.
  2. Next, get a dredging station together. To one bowl, mix the eggs, salt, and black pepper. To another bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch.
  3. To a frying pan, add the 2 cups of canola and bring it to a medium heat. Once your oil reaches 350 degrees, you are ready to fry the chicken. During this time, add the chicken pieces to the egg mixture, lift up and allow the egg mixture to drip off a bit, then add into the flour mixture, making sure you coat the chicken. Gently shake off any excess flour mixture, the place into the preheated frying pan.
  4. Do this in batches. Cook for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown. Remove with your kitchen spider or slotted spoon, and place onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. After all of the chicken is cooked, take another large skillet, and add the additional oil.
  6. Heat to a medium heat, then toss in the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for about 30 seconds, then mix in the green onions and chili flakes. Add the Chinese rice wine, give a good stir, then add in the sauce mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes to let the sauce thicken, and the sugar dissolve. Once you have accomplished that, add in the chicken pieces, give a good stir, and serve over jasmine rice.

 

New Mexico Hatch Chile Pork

Recently our local grocery store began selling New Mexican Hatch chiles, something I have been wanting for many, many years. Granted I have made plenty of chili over the last ten years or so, but I have always been wanting the Hatch chili. To me, it is a bit like any other. I remember it clearly when we vacationed in New Mexico back in high school. The Hatch chili is crisp, spicy, and offers an awesome brightness. So when I found out the grocery store was finally selling these, I was bound and determined to make some real New Mexico style Hatch green chile with pork.

This chili is not only easy to make, yields a ton, and has plenty for leftovers, but it was one that had just that right amount of heat.

Hatch Chili Pork Recipe
Hatch Chili Pork Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into cubes
  • 1 lb New Mexican Hatch Green Chiles, lightly oiled
  • Charcoal fire or broiler
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 large tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed

That’s it. Simple ingredients.

Start by charring your Hatch chilies. I do this on my grill, flipping when the chilies get nice and charred, and softened. Once softened and charred, remove the chilies and place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or plastic zip lock bag, allowing them to steam, and ensuring that the exterior skin is easily removed.

After about 10 minutes, remove the chilies, and peel away the exterior charred skin. Cut off the top stem, and remove the seeds from the inside of the chilies. Discard the seeds, then roughly chop the Hatch chilies. Set them to the side.

Hatch Green Chili Pork Ingredients
Hatch Green Chili Pork Ingredients

Next, take your onion, cilantro, tomatillos, Hatch chilies and garlic and add them to a food processor. Pulse down until you have a smooth sauce.

Season the cubed pork with salt and pepper, then heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the canola oil, then add the pork in batches. Your goal is to get a nice sear on the exterior of the cubed pork shoulder. Turn the pork to get all sides nice and seared. Once seared, remove to a bowl, and repeat with the remaining pork.

To a slow cooker (please feel free) or large pot, add the pork, as well as the onion mixture. Cook low and slow until the pork is super tender. I did mine in a slow cooker for 8 hours (a perfect thing to do when you head to work).

When you are ready to serve, ladle the Hatch green chili pork into a serving bowl, get some warm tortillas or ladle over an easy cooked egg, and you are ready for a game changer. I added some cannellini beans towards the end of my cook process, but that is only optional.

I was blown away. Seriously. This chili was perfect. It had great heat, great citrus flavor, and screamed comfort all around. If you have access to Hatch chilies, try them. Now I am heading back to buy some more before they are all gone. Hope you enjoy!

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce, or simply a ‘special sauce’ is probably the easiest thing to make and typically served with french fries. I think fry sauce can pretty much go on anything, including burgers, and fries of which I did. Fry sauce is a classic sauce and has been around for ages. Think of it as somewhat of a Russian dressing. The simplicity is essentially a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, but I add a couple of different twists making this fry sauce super addicting one.

Fry Sauce Recipe
Fry Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started on this excellent condiment.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp your favorite hot sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • hot fries, optional

Add everything but the hot fries to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for later use.

How to make fry sauce
How to make fry sauce

When you are ready to serve, drizzle onto your hot fries (I used roasted garlic and rosemary baby yukon potatoes), or serve on the side. I also smeared a generous amount onto my grilled burger. Talk about simplicity at its finest, and a delicious tang of a condiment to boot. If you are looking for all of that, give this one a shot, and feel free to double the amount for later use. Hope you enjoy!

Nam Prik Pao – Thai Chili Condiment

For those of you that love Thai food, there is a condiment, or sauce if you will, known as Nam Prik Pao. Nam prik in Thai commonly refers to a general term for a spicy sauce that is often used as a condiment, or dipping sauce. You can find this sauce at your local Asian market, and there are probably so many different versions, but this is my go to recipe. This Thai dipping sauce is sweet, has some heat, and has this awesome layer of funk that has you using it on so many different foods, whether with eggs, grilled meats, or sauteed vegetables. This is a real winner whether you enjoy Thai or Asian flavors. I simply cannot get enough of it.

Nam Prik Pao Recipe
Nam Prik Pao Recipe

Now I have made some really great sauces in the past, for example nam prik ong, Thai three sauce (to die for), and a couple of my favorites being jeow and nam jim jaew, but this particular one is a bit different, and one to compete with.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 cup of dried puya chilies, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried morita chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup dried chile del arbol, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar (or light brown if you do not have palm sugar)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, skins removed
  • 4 whole shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp roasted shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Start by taking the seeds out of all of the chilies. I highly recommend you wear kitchen latex gloves during this process. Trust me, and thank me later. Once the seeds and stems have been removed, add them to a large skillet over medium heat, simply to lightly toast them and bring out their essential oils. Be careful not to burn the chilies, so keep stirring them for a few minutes, then place onto a plate for later use.

To the same skillet, add the oil, and toss in the garlic cloves. Cook the garlic, again not to burn it but just until they turn a golden brown. Remove the garlic with a kitchen spider, or slotted spoon, and place them on the same plate as the chilies.

To the same oil, add in the shallots, and cook until they begin to get golden as well. Once golden, remove with a slotted spoon and place these, along with the garlic and chilies to a food processor.  Turn off the heat, but keep the oil in the skillet for future use.

Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients
Thai Nam Prik Pao Ingredients

Pulse these in the food processor until you have a nice paste. Scrape down the sides if necessary during this process.

Once you have a paste, add the skillet back on medium heat with the oil, and add the chili paste, shrimp paste, tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Gently stir, turning down the heat to low, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring throughout that time. Remove from the heat, and spoon into a sealable jar or container and let it cool before placing in the refrigerator.

This nam prik pao is super yummy. Granted when no one is looking I take a small spoonful and eat it, but you can use this condiment to spread on toast, dip pork rinds into, use with soups or stews, or just serve with anything. It’s an awesome condiment, and one that will not only having you get your arsenal of Thai ingredients in line, but one you will love. Hope you enjoy!