Saturday, September 1, 2012

Basil Orange Chicken

I love orange chicken. It’s one of my all-time favorite Chinese-American dishes. Whenever I go to any chinese fast food place (which really isn’t that often), I almost always order the orange chicken. It’s so delicious, but so bad for you.

Out of the blue one night, I decided to make my own “healthier” version. I also decided to add in some basil for a nice change. I think the recipe turned out great! It still tasted like orange chicken, but it just didn’t have the heavy, deep-fried batter.

Try this tonight instead of doing take-out!

Basil-Orange Chicken

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
canola or peanut oil
½ c. orange juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tbsp mirin
½ tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 spring onions, sliced
3 leaves of basil, cut in a chiffonade
sesame seeds, optional
red pepper flakes, optional

1. Put chicken pieces into a bowl and dust with cornstarch until every piece is covered (requires roughly ¼ c. cornstarch). Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Cook chicken in batches, stirring constantly, until no pink remains and the exterior is a nice golden brown. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Put cooked chicken onto a plate and keep warm.
2. Stir together orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, 2 tbsp cornstarch, and green onions (reserving some for garnish). Pour sauce into the same pan as before and let boil until thickened, about 1 min. Remove off heat and add in chicken, basil, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Heat over low until chicken is cooked and covered in sauce. Serve with rice and steamed broccolini.


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