Orange Chicken: Breaded and Crunchy Like Takeout
So it's kind of cheating.
The best way to get a thick, crunchy breading on chicken is to get someone else to do the first half of the work.
The problem with most breadings is that they aren't quite the right formula to stick to the chicken. They either fly off the chicken during cooking, or wouldn't stick enough to begin with. There is always the batter method, but that creates a much lighter, oil-filled crust that doesn't hold up to the heavy orange sauce of real takeout.
A friend of mine (who happens to be part Filipino - though I doubt her grandmother told her this one!) discovered the perfect fix to get orange chicken that's exactly like the takeout stuff, only fresher and even more delicious.
I know there are a lot of recipes out there that claim they can do this - but I have tried a huge variety of them, and the breading is NEVER quite right.
- 1 bag Frozen Breaded Chicken Strips or "poppers"
- Warm up a deep fryer, allowing chicken to defrost slightly in the meantime.
- Add chicken to fryer, cooking until there is noticeable color change in the breading.
- Place finished chicken on paper towel to drain and cool while sauce cooks.
Yes, double-frying is the secret.
The nuggets or strips come with a layer of fried breading, and you get it super crunchy by frying it AGAIN.
I did warn you that this wasn't healthy, but man is it easy and delcious. Try it at least once before going back to your oven-baked orange tofu.
If you already have a sauce recipe, you're good to go. But if you don't, here's the one I use.
- 1.5 c water
- 0.25 c rice vinegar
- 0.25 c lemon juice
- 0.25 c orange juice
- 1 c brown sugar
- 2.5 tbl soy sauce
- 1 tbl orange zest
- 0.25 tsp red pepper
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1.5 tsp minced garlic
- Cornstarch as needed.
Mix all except cornstarch. Bring to a boil in medium saucepan, then stir. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Add cornstarch teaspoon by teaspoon while reheating, until desired consistency is reached.