Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chinese Orange Chicken and Fried Rice

One of my husband's and my favorite things to do is to stay in, order Chinese food and watch a good movie (or more recently the Republican debates), but unfortunately it is just too expensive to do all the time. So, I set out to create my own Chinese food at home. It is surprisingly easy with pretty simple ingredients. This recipe has quickly jumped into being one of our favorite dishes. If you love Chinese food, but have never made it yourself, I encourage you to try this recipe- you'll want to make it all the time once you try it!

Just like yesterday, I am using chicken thighs. I have considered doing this recipe with beef, so substituting beef brisket or something similar would work in this too, I think. Obviously you can use chicken breasts in place of the thighs- use whatever you have on hand! One ingredient in this recipe, rice vinegar, you may or may not have in your pantry. You can sub cider vinegar or even red wine vinegar (just add a bit of sugar too), you just need that acidic punch that the vinegar adds. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Orange Chicken

2-3 T Veg Oil
3 Chicken Thighs cut into strips
3 T flour
1 pkg Baby Bella Mushroom (or shitake) sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp ground ginger
2-3 T green onions chopped
pinch salt
1/2 Medium Onion thinly sliced
3 T Orange Marmalade
2 T Rice Vinegar
3 T Soy Sauce
1 T Citrus Juice
Dash or Ground Ginger
1 tsp Sugar to taste

In medium bowl, combine 2nd half of ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 1 day. When you are ready to begin cooking, in a medium bowl, combine flour, red pepper flakes, ginger, green onions, and salt, stir to combine. Pour over chicken strips in zip top bag. Shake to combine. In wok, or large skillet heat veg oil over high heat. Add the floured chicken. Saute until brown. Add mushrooms and toss to brown, about 1 minute. Add the soy/vinegar mixture. Stir until the sauce has thickened. Serve with Asian Fried Rice.

Asian Fried Rice

1 T Butter
1.5 Cups Cooked White Rice
1/2 Onion chopped
1/3-1/2 C Frozen Peas and Carrots
1 Egg
Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Sesame Seeds (if desired)

In saute pan, heat butter over medium high heat, add onion and saute until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown slightly. Add the rice and stir to combine with onion. Add just enough soy sauce to turn the rice brown and give it a salty flavor. Saute for about 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas and carrots and saute until heated through. Add more soy sauce if needed. Make a well in the center of the pan, and crack egg into pan. Scramble the egg and combine with the rice. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and sesame seeds to taste. Serve and enjoy!

I can't wait to see if any of you try these recipes. Chinese food made at home is just as good (or better!) than getting take out. Its definitely cheaper and in this economy, cheaper is ALWAYS better. I hope you enjoy!

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