Now this is my go-to dish when I invite someone over for dinner for the first time, I use it a lot since my relationships barely make it past a couple dates. The key to this dish is presentation, you cut an orange in half and carve it out using a pairing knife, and fill it with the orange chicken. Unfortunately oranges are expensive, so always be on the lookout for those fruit baskets that some doctors put in their waiting areas. This dish has a burst of citrus taste so it’s quite refreshing on a summer night.
1 kg chicken breast, cut into cubes and drained
1.25 tsp salt
1.25 tsp pepper
0.5 cup orange juice
0.5 kg broccoli, cut into pieces
3 eggs, beaten
200 gram flour
0.5 cup water
0.5 tbsp sesame seed oil (with seeds)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp light soya sauce
5 tsp white wine
5 tsp sugar, granulated
2 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 dried red chili
Oil for deep frying
Oranges for garnishing (optional)
First you make the orange sauce. Mix the orange juice (except 1 tbsp), water, sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar, soya sauce, white wine, sugar, and corn starch and mix it together until even. Set aside. If you are lazy, then you can just and buy the pre-made orange chicken sauce, the Panda Express brand is really good and is a bit cheaper than buying all these separate ingredients so if you’re only going to make it one time then I suggest to go for the pre-made kind.
Steam the broccoli until they are bright green and soft, set aside.
Mix the chicken cubes, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp orange juice together and set aside for 30 minutes. Mix the remainder of the salt and pepper in the flour and put it on a plate. Dip the chicken in the egg and then cover with the flour and set aside. Fry the chicken on high heat until they are light golden brown (about 4 minutes). Don’t over crowd the oil and don’t let the chicken stick together. If you over fry the chicken then they will be hard. Put the chicken to dry on a newspaper (you get free flyers in the mail so don’t worry about using too many).
Heat the butter in a wok. I don’t have a wok so I just used my small frying pan and cooked the orange chicken in parts. It increases the cooking time but it’s not like my time is worth anything. Add the garlic and red chilies and let them brown for a minute, add the chicken and broccoli and heat them up. Add all the orange sauce on top and mix well until evenly covered. Heat it until it comes to a simmer, let the sauce reduce and become thicker in consistency. Simmer for a total of 5 minutes otherwise the chicken will get less crispy.
Serve the orange chicken in the orange bowls. If you want to know how to make them, there are excellent videos on YouTube. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy. Your date won’t know what hit them.