Orange chicken is my absolute favorite spicy, saucy comfort food dish in the world, I can even skip the chicken & just have fruit with the broccoli. I can change the orange to mango, lychee, pineapple or rambutan, what ever is in the pantry or in season at the time is perfect for me!
I love Martin Yan’s simple way of cooking, I started using one of his books Invitation to Chinese Cooking several years ago, it made my taste buds dance! I moved on to other cookbooks since then, a couple of my favorites are Kyle Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking & Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, 101 Asian recipes (my favorite, I got 5 autographed copies). They all three have inspired me to expand my cooking beyond bland dishes that are lacking FLAVOR, smell, taste, texture & color. I have learned to cook with fresh, healthy ingredients & sometimes tweaking them to my liking by omitting some starches, white rice (most the time) although I’m addicted to the smell of jasmine rice over brown rice any day of the week.
This recipe is adapted by Martin Yan, and it’s totally twisted by myself. Martin calls it Tangerine Peel Chicken, I call it Orange Broccoli Chicken, I need vegetable greens in my stir fry, you can add red peppers too for more color.
Recipe should serve 4
I usually double this recipe because I’m feeding the big guy & he need leftovers for lunch! I don’t double the meat though.
- 1 piece dried tangerine peel (I used 3 navel orange peels)
- 2 tangerines (3 navel oranges)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced (I don’t double)
- 2 cups steamed broccoli
- steamed rice (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoons lager beer, such as Tsing Tao (Guinness works)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I use both)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons sugar (agave nectar or honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 8 dried red chiles (did not double, hot enough)!
- One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water (I omit, I don’t thicken)
Method to the Madness:
In a small bowl, soak the dried tangerine peels (if your using dried) in warm water to cover until softened, about 20 minutes; drain. Cut into narrow strips and set aside.
Slice off the ends of the tangerines with a knife, hold the fruit with one cut side on the board, and slice downward from top to bottom to remove the peel in strips, working your way around the fruit. Cut deeply enough to remove the white pith. Now cut toward the center of the fruit on one side of the membrane. Slice the fruit segment while leaving the membranes intact. Cut away the white pith from half of the tangerine peels and cut the peels into long, narrow strips. Place the fruit and peels in 2 separate bowls and set aside.
To make the marinade, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce and wine in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and stir to coat evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes.
To make the sauce, combine the orange juice, beer, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and white pepper in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves (I use agave nectar).
Place a stir-fry (I use my wok) pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the onion, chiles, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink. Add the green onions and the dried and fresh tangerine peels; stir-fry until the green onions soften, about 1 minute. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the tangerine segments then the broccoli and stir to coat it with the sauce. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds. (I omit the cornstarch mixture) it makes it more like a broth.
Steam Broccoli only slightly, leaving it firm & crunchy.
Serve over brown rice or steamed jasmine rice, you can garnish with slivered almonds for more crunch.
Note to self: Do not bang wok turner on cast iron wok as a dinner bell, they will come running when they smell it!!