Homemade Chinese Takeout – Orange Chicken & Rice

“Homemade Chinese Takeout” seems like an oxymoron. Isn’t the whole point of getting takeout that you don’t have to cook? While it’s true that the first reason we order Chinese takeout is to save ourselves from having to cook, the second reason we order Chinese is because it just tastes good! You can save money and still have that delicious Chinese takeout by following this easy recipe. The recipe is based on the popular Orange Chicken dish that you might be familiar with from Panda Express, the fast casual Chinese restaurant found in malls and airports around the world.

The secret to this recipe is orange marmalade, which combines with orange juice, rice vinegar and honey to create a marmalade to die for. This recipe works just as well with pork, if you prefer not to eat chicken. Serve over  white or Jasmine rice.

What You Need

 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

 tablespoons white wine

 teaspoons minced ginger

 clove of garlic, minced

boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or potato starch), divided

canola (or other neutral oil) oil, for frying pan

tablespoon honey

 cup orange juice

 tablespoon orange marmalade

tablespoon rice vinegar

teaspoon sesame oil

3 cups broccoli florets

Directions:  Whisk 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, wine, ginger and garlic together in a large bowl. Chop the chicken into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes. Add the chicken cubes to the bowl and marinate them for at least 15 minutes.

Using a large slotted spoon, remove the chicken cubes from the marinade and into a new bowl. Leave the remaining marinade in the first bowl. Sprinkle ¼ cup of cornstarch over the chicken and mix slightly to coat. The cornstarch will prevent your chicken from burning and will help give it that authentic Chinese takeout flavor.

Next, heat ¼ inches of canola oil in a large pan at medium high heat. Begin adding the chicken cubes to the pan. Keep the cubes in a single layer, so you will need to work in batches. Fry the chicken, turning occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked all the way through. It takes about 4 minutes total to fully cook the chicken. Then remove the chicken from the pan and place the cubes on a paper towel, large lined plate or baking sheet, so that the oil can drain off.

Next take a small saucepan or pot and heat it over medium heat. Mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, honey, orange juice, marmalade, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Then in a smaller bowl, mix the last tablespoon of cornstarch, add 2 tablespoons of water , and mix together to form a slurry. Bring the orange sauce mixture to low boil, and add some of the slurry, one spoonful at a time, while whisking, to thicken the sauce. Once the mixture is nicely thickened, remove from the heat.

To serve, toss chicken cubes in the sauce in a large bowl. Serve the chicken with rice, broccoli and other common additions to your usual favorite takeout meal.

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