April 21, 2010

What's Cookin': Orange Chicken & Fried Rice

Ok, the story of the Orange Chicken. One night, a little while ago, we were eating something Chinese-ish (yes, that's a word). I can't remember what it was but Ben said I needed to make my Orange Chicken again. I said that I would but it was such an ordeal. It seriously takes me like two hours to make the stupid dish, what with all the cutting up, breading and frying. So Ben got the BRILLIANT idea of "What if you used popcorn chicken?" Ben's genius strikes again! I thought it was a great idea so the next time I was at the store I looked for popcorn chicken. I only found one kind at the store I was at, so I got a bag and decided to try it out. Hoo-boy did it make this dish easier. Now I'm not so anti-orange chicken. Which is good, since we love this meal. So here is my take on the recipes for Orange Chicken and Fried Rice. You can find the original recipes here and here, respectively. If you want to spend half the night making chicken.

Orange Chicken - makes 6ish servings
1 bag of popcorn chicken (mine was a little over 1.5 pounds)
1 Tbs veg oil
1 Tbs rice wine or water (not rice wine vinegar)
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp ground ginger (to your taste)
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes (to your taste)
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs cornstarch

 Orange Sauce
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs water
5 Tbs sugar
5 Tbs white vinegar
Orange zest

Cook the popcorn chicken according to package directions. Mine was 400 degrees for 15 minutes. While that's cooking, mix the orange sauce together and add the garlic powder, ginger and red pepper to it. When the chicken is done, add the oil to a very hot wok or large pan. Pour in the orange sauce mixture (carefully!) and let it come to a boil. Add the chicken and stir to coat each piece. Mix the cornstarch with the water 1 Tbs water and stir into the orange chicken. This will thicken it up. Heat through and serve with....

Fried Rice - serves a ton
2 cups uncooked rice
3 1/2 cups water

1 cup frozen peas
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp ground ginger
4 eggs, scrambled
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook rice. Fried rice is best if made with cold rice so that it doesn't glob up on itself, so either make the night before and put in fridge, or make and cool (I do this by spreading it on a cookie sheet and popping it in the fridge for awhile).

In a (very) large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over high heat. Add peas and cook, tossing with garlic powder and ginger. Put into bowl with green onions and set aside. Add another tablespoon of oil and pour in eggs, breaking them up into small pieces as they cook. Add these to the peas and onions. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pan. Heat to screaming hot then add the rice, tossing to coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for a bit, then push it down with a spatula, squishing it to the bottom of the pan. Let sit for about 2 minutes, to let the rice crisp. Stir, then do again. Poor the rice in a large bowl and add the peas, onions and eggs. Toss to combine.

The main thing about fried rice is it goes so quickly that you need to have everything prepped and ready BEFORE you start. Otherwise you'll burn what's in the pan while you scrambled to get your other ingredients. (Ask me how I know this...) If you take a look at the original recipes you can see that I really veer from the way they are done. But I've made these dishes quite a few times and have just adapted them to make them easier on me and work for what I have. For example, I always use ground ginger since it's not something I keep on hand. But by all means, use fresh if you can/want.

6.1.10 - I found a popcorn chicken made with real chicken breast a few weeks ago. I made the dish again with it and Ben said you can't tell the difference.

Ben Rating: 4!

Happy Eating,


Farm Girl said...

Yummy I can't wait to try it!!!

no spring chicken said...

I was looking at your May 6th post when my daughter noticed the linkwithin button below the post that led to this post. Yesterday I asked her what she wanted me to fix for her birthday dinner. She asked if I knew how to make orange chicken. We had had it at a restaurant recently. I suggested that we order some since no, I did not.

Thanks for the great recipe. Especially the tip about using popcorn chicken!

Blessings, Debbie

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by! I enjoy reading every comment and I will try to get back to you if I'm able.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...