Tarocco Orange Chicken ala Panda Express

orange_chix

Blame it on the oranges. It began earlier this week when the traveling produce man (a guy with a load of fruits and veggies on wheels) buzzed me from the security gate. “Buongiorno signora!” He continues to tell me that he has some very beautiful oranges from Sicily and just when I hang up after saying that I’d be right down, I suddenly remembered that a large sack of Tarocco oranges were already in the fridge. What was I thinking? Whoops!

Fast forward a couple days later and a glass of freshly squeezed oj in the mornings.

Still yearning for a feeling of home, I check the online version of Honolulu’s Starbulletin and come across an article for the #1 seller at Panda Express. The article gives a brief outline in the making of PEOC but I’ve adapted an internet recipe to suit my tastes.

The recipe:
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 egg, beaten
flour for coating
salt and pepper
oil for frying
1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely minced or grated
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small chile pepper, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions (reserve some for garnish)
Orange Sauce:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (naturally I squeezed them taroccos)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix together with the egg and season well with salt and pepper. Roll the pieces in flour and set aside for about 10 minutes to absorb. Combine the ingredients for orange sauce in a separate bowl.

Heat an adequate amount of oil to frying temperature. Lightly recoat the chicken in flour and fry on all sides to a golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a saute pan, heat a small amount of oil and briefly saute the ginger and garlic for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the chile pepper and green onions, toss for a minute then add the chicken pieces and orange sauce mixture. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid thickens and is absorbed into the chicken. Garnish with green onions and serve hot with lots of white rice. Makes enough for 2.

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