(Hint about ginger: ginger is extremely cheap when bought fresh at the grocery store. I usually buy a medium-sized root, but since I only use a tiny bit at a time, my trick is to chop the ginger into 1/2-inch pieces, put them into a baggie, and freeze. Each time you cook, pull out one piece, let it thaw on the counter for ten minutes, and you’ve got the perfect amount of ginger for one dish.)
When I first tasted a piece of chicken that was simmering in the pan before I served dinner, I actually said out loud, “Ohmigod!” To me, this recipe tastes very similar to actual Orange Chicken from a chinese restaurant. I hope you all love it as much as I did!
PS – as you can see in the picture, I served this on top of jasmine rice.
Spicy Orange Chicken with Snow Peas and Red Pepper
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
1 TBS water
1 TBS cornstarch
salt + pepper
3 TBS oil
1/3 C fresh-squeezed orange juice*
grated orange zest from the entire orange*
2-3 tsp sugar*
2-3 tsp rice vinegar*
1 tsp soy sauce*
1 tsp chili paste*
1.5 tsp cornstarch
few drops of sesame oil (a little bit goes a loooong way…don’t get too excited with this stuff!)
1 garlic clove*
1 tsp finely chopped ginger*
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
small bag of snow peas, washed
*the reason I starred these ingredients is because, I rarely (if ever) follow the recipe when it calls for putting together various sauces. We like spicy food, so I used way more than 1tsp chili sauce. I also like sweet sauces, so I used more sugar. My point is, make it how you like it.
1. In ziploc bag, combine chicken, pinch of salt+pepper, cornstarch and water. Let sit for at least half-hour in the fridge, or up to 24 hours.
2. Combine orange juice, orange zest, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili paste, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Whisk thoroughly.
3. Heat 1 TBS oil in large skillet. When hot, add red pepper, snow peas and ginger. Ensure your pan is really hot – you want your veggies to get a few spots of brown on them (I recently learned, in Chinese this is called “wok hey” – a few charred spots on the vegetables that you won’t achieve if you let them cook more slowly.) Cook for a couple of minutes, tossing frequently. Set hot veggies aside.
4. Add a bit more oil to pan and add chicken. Stir-fry for several minutes until cooked through, with a nice brown color. Add garlic at the last minute – add more oil if necessary so garlic doesn’t stick and burn. Return veggies to pan and lower heat; add orange sauce. Stir until everything is glazed in the sauce.