Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Almond Orange Chicken and Veggies

Orange Chicken is popular in many Chinese restaurants but my family does not really care for the sticky, overwhelmingly sweet or pungent flavor of orange chicken sauce. My Almond Orange Chicken and Veggies is a milder version, more salty than sweet with a gentle almond flavor. For added crunch and flavor, the chicken is has a light coating of flour and chopped almonds and is paired with broccoli and carrots. The sauce is loosely adapted from a copycat orange chicken recipe. If you're in a rush, you may also use store-bought chicken nuggets and just make the sauce.

Here's the recipe I'm submitting to Weekend Wokking, created by Wandering Chopsticks. The host this month is Blazing Hot Wok. The secret ingredient for March is Almonds.

For the chicken:
4 chicken breast fillets, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
1 egg white (beaten)
1 Tbsp flour + 3 tsp finely chopped almonds
oil for frying

For the veggies:
1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup carrot slices
1 cup water

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp garlic
2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp green onions
1 tbsp Shaoshing rice wine
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
a few drops of sesame oil
Siracha (hot sauce) to taste
8 orange slices
2 tsp almond slices

Season chicken chunks with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in beaten egg white and roll lightly in flour-almond mixture. If you prefer, you can also use store-bought chicken nuggets and fry them till golden brown.

In a wok, heat canola oil to 350 F. When oil is hot enough, add chicken a few at a time and cook till lightly golden brown. Since the chicken is lightly coated, be very careful not to overcook the chicken as it will get tough. Remove chicken from oil and drain on paper towels.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil then blanch broccoli and carrots for about 3 minutes and quickly transfer veggies to ice cold water.

Clean wok and add 1 tbsp canola oil. Stir-fry garlic and ginger, then the green onions. Add orange juice, rice wine, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and cornstarch. Let the sauce thicken then remove wok from the stove. Stir in sesame oil, Siracha hot sauce, chicken, broccoli and carrots, orange slices, and almond slices. Serve immediately with steamed rice.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Looks like a great healthy version of orange chicken. I admit, I sometimes like the goopy sweet sauce, but I wouldn't eat that very often.

Thanks for participating in Weekend Wokking!