Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chinese Orange Chicken (authentic P.F Chang's, in my own style) with Egg-Vegetable Fried Rice


Rice, Chicken and then Chinese, the combination of these three is enough to get me hooked on it! :D I'm passionately addicted to rice and Chinese is one of my favorite cuisines plus, anything with chicken is delicious! well that last bit is not entirely true; let me rephrase it, anything with chicken cooked well is delicious esp Biryani! :D (spicy chicken gravy layered with half-cooked aromatic rice and then cooked together- shall do a post on it soon, In Sha Allah (God Willing))
Lets not get distracted now! So coming back to the combination of my favorite ingredients in a Chinese way. I've literally grown up eating Chinese rice that my Mom so well makes. She not only adds some seasonal vegetables and eggs to it but tiny meat balls as well (another post promised) Oh, how I still drool over the memory of that luscious goodness of rice that doesn't need any gravy with it and is so del-i-ci-ous on its own! Should ask my Mom to make them soon and then share with you all (virtually) to see that what an amazing cook she is 'too'! (hehe :P)
Egg-Veggies Fried Rice prepared with leftover rice and some cooked and shredded chicken


Once I got into cooking, whenever I cooked Chinese, had always made Manchurian or Shashlik with the fried rice. During my stay in The U.S.A, I got introduced to various Chinese dishes as I got the experience of eating from different eateries that specialized in Oriental cuisine including Panda Express, P.F Chang's, Noodle & Company and Pei Wei Asian Diner etc but the options there were limited for me cause of their Chicken/Beef dishes not being Halal (meat slaughtered and prepared according to Islamic law) Therefore, I used to opt for seafood (shrimps/fish) dishes while my friends would indulge themselves into chicken ones and Orange Chicken was one of them. 

Since I've never had Orange Chicken in my life before at that time and forgive my ignorance, but never even had heard of it before that's why I was quite curious to know that how this glossy, tangy and spicy looking dish tasted. One of my friends then shared this recipe of the Orange Chicken which is served at P.F Chang's and is truly an authentic recipe but I recreated it with a bit of my own personal touch :)
The spicy and citrusy, battered white chicken cubes are deep fried and then added to this, sweet, zesty, hot orange sauce which is not only so easy to make but also very quick too. You can literally cook it under 30 minutes and if you have leftover or pre-boiled and cooled rice on hand, a wonderful meal is prepared under an hour and ready to be served! isn't that great? :D 

Now, you can easily make it at home and do not have to worry about not being able to eat at these non-Halal places anymore. But that doesn't mean those who can, shouldn't try making it at home. In fact they should to believe that how similar it is to the original and is economical too :)

Cooks, let the love of Chinese get Unleashed! :D



Chinese Orange Chicken

Ingredients:
Chicken (breast fillets): 4 (skinless and cut into small cubes)
Salt: 1 tsp
Garlic Powder: 2 tsp.
Ginger Powder: 1 tsp.
Onion Powder: 2 tsp.
Black Pepper: 2 tsp.
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp (decrease for less heat)
Creole Seasoning*: 2 tsp
Orange Zest: 1 tsp. (grated) 
White Vinegar: 1 tbsp.
Soy Sauce: 1 tbsp.
All-Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup
Cornflour/Starch: 1/4 cup
Egg: 1 (beaten)
Vegetable/Canola/Corn/Sunflower Oil: for deep frying

For the sauce:

Orange Juice: 1 cup/250 ml (fresh or packaged) 
Chicken Stock: 1 cup/250 ml (make with bones or use a stock cube)
Tomato Ketchup: 1 cup (chili-garlic sauce can be used instead)
Chili Paste: 1 tsp. (if using chili-garlic sauce then omit adding it)
Brown Sugar: 2 tbsp.
Soy Sauce: 1 tbsp.
Sriracha Sauce: 1 tbsp.
Black Pepper: 1 tsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.
Garlic: 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Ginger: 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Orange Zest: 1 tsp (grated)
Vegetable/Canola/Corn/Sunflower Oil: 2 tbsp.
Cornflour/Starch: 2,3 tbsp (dissolved in 1/4 cup of water at room temp.)
Sesame Seeds: 1 tbsp. (for garnishing)
Spring Onion: 1 stalk (green part only, for garnishing)

Method:
  1. Add all the seasonings to the chicken cubes along with the orange zest, vinegar and soy sauce. let them marinate for a few minutes.
  2. Now add the beaten egg, all-purpose flour and corn flour/starch to the cubes and toss them so that all the cubes are well coated.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken cubes in batches over low-medium heat till crisp, golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Take them out on a kitchen towel lined platter with the help of a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  5. In another pot, heat 2 tbsp. of oil and saute' chopped ginger, garlic and grated orange zest in it for a minute.
  6. Add all the liquids, seasonings and brown sugar to them and let it come to a boil.
  7. Once boils, lower the heat and add the fried chicken pieces.
  8. Now pour the dissolved corn flour/starch to thicken the sauce.
  9. Cook till the sauce thickens and coats all of the chicken pieces.
  10. Serve immediately with/over plain/fried rice garnished with sesame seeds and chopped green onion stalks. 

Add fried chicken pieces only at the time of serving. Preps can be done beforehand though. Prepared Orange Sauce (without cornflour/starch added) can be made ahead and kept refrigerated for several days) The original dish is cooked a bit on the dry side but I like to have a little gravy on my rice hence, I increase the amount of liquids when I cook but I've shared the original amounts here. 

*Creole seasoning is a blend of different seasonings and spices and is used to season any kind of meat, rice, vegetables, soups, stews e.t.c. since it is not available everywhere therefore, you can easily make it at home.
Just blend together 2 tbsp. of Onion Powder, 2 tsp. of Garlic Powder, 2 tbsp. Dried Oregano, 2 tbsp. Dried Basil, 1 tbsp. Dried Thyme, 1 tbsp Black Pepper, 1 tbsp. White Pepper, 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper, 5 Tbsp. Paprika, 3 tbsp. Salt and put everything in an airtight jar.
(recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)


Egg-Vegetable Fried Rice

Ingredients:
White Rice: 2 cups (boiled and cooled down completely. Leftover rice can be used too)
Cabbage: 1/2 cup (shredded) 
Bell Pepper/Capsicum: 1/2 cup (chopped)
Carrots: 1/2 cup (grated or chopped)
Peas: 1/2 cup (boiled)
Or use any seasonal/frozen vegetables of your choice.Eggs: 4 
Garlic: 1 tbsp. (finely chopped)
Soy Sauce: 3,4 tbsp.
Salt: 1 1/2 tbsp.
Pepper: 1 1/2 tbsp.
Oil: 1/4 cup+2 tsp. 

Method
  1. Crack eggs into a bowl, add 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper, beat well with the help of a egg whisk/fork.
  2. Heat a tsp. of oil in a frying pan (lesser oil can be used, if using non-stick pan) and pour some of the beaten eggs into the hot frying pan. Cook from both the side like you'd cook an omelette or simply scramble the eggs as soon as they start to set a bit. 
  3. Break them into small pieces if cooking like scrambled eggs and let them cook completely. If cooked like an omelette, then take out into a plate, roll and cut into strips. Cook rest of the eggs by using other 1 tsp of oil and Keep aside.
  4. In a wok or large pot, heat oil and saute' garlic till the aroma releases.
  5. Add carrots and stir-fry them for a min. Now add rest of the vegetables, mix and stir fry for another minute or two over high heat.
  6. Add, seasonings, soy sauce, fried eggs and mix well.
  7. Now slowly add rice to the rest of the ingredients that are cooking and mix well.
  8. Lower the heat and keep mixing till all of the rice, vegetables and eggs are well combined and rice are heated through. 
  9. Cover and let stand for a few minutes before serving so that all of the flavors are well infused into the rice.
  10. Serve with Orange Chicken or any gravy of your choice (I'll be sharing more recipes of Chinese gravies in my upcoming posts) or eat on its own (will still taste divine! trust me :D)

    Cooked shredded/pieces of chicken can be added too to make it a full meal to have it on its own.

    Serves: 4-6

That's all friends! :) the amount of ingredients and seasonings can always be adjusted according to your taste and desire. I hope you enjoy making and having it. Until next time, keep sharing the goodness of this greatest blessing, that has been bestowed in abundance upon us the lucky ones, with the less fortunate ones.
Thank you and please remember in your Du'as/prayers! :)

*Not be duplicated, rewritten or published without permission- Thank you! 






22 comments:

  1. I love orange chicken. This looks delicious!

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  2. Yummy! Must try very soon!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And please do and share feedback :)

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  3. Yummy, I love orange chicken. Looks like I need to give this recipe a try!

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    1. Please do and I'd love to hear the feedback :)
      Thank you!

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  4. Girl! In India they have Indo-Chinese dishes. I never found an actual Chinese dish in India that wasn't tailored to suit Indian tastebuds. The Chinese restaurants you went to here are tailored for American taste. What they call, Americanized Chinese food. Next time you're here, I highly suggest you ask around or use Yelp, or something similar to find an authentic Chinese restaurant. You'd be blown away! That being said, I do love me some orange chicken!!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree and it's the same here in Pakistan; the Chinese is not authentic Chinese but I was looking for the American-Chinese food hence, went to those places and really enjoyed those flavours :)
      I'll definitely be looking for an authentic Chinese by following your suggestion, on my next visit to the U.S. :)
      Thank you!

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  5. I love orange chicken... actually I love all things orange to be honest :-)

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    1. Me too! :) then you should be checking out my two other recipes on the blog that too uses oranges in them; Orange-Cinnamon Rolls and Zarda- Citrusy sweet rice :)
      Thank you!

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  6. I am crazy about chinese food and love being able to make it at home. Can't wait to try this one!

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    1. I'm the same! And I hope you like this recipe :) Do share feedback.
      Thank you!

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  7. I love orange chicken. <3 Looks good!

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    1. I do too! :)
      Thank you for stopping by and for dropping a comment :)

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  8. I have tasted this in PF Chang's.. you have made it very well.

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  9. I love that I can make this at home...all of the ingredients look easy enough to find.

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    1. That's great and please! Would love to hear how you liked it :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  10. I know I left a comment on this post a while back, but I just need to say that it still speaks to me. I feel like it's calling my name in the middle or the night. :) I've had orange chicken before, but not dripping with sauce like that. And the rice looks fluffy and full of veggies. I'm starving and it's only 8:30am.

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    1. Thanks so much, Byron! I think you left a comment on my Orange-Cinnamon Rolls :) I'm glad to know that you liked the recipe! The original Orange Chicken is coated with the sauce but I made the sauce a little runny as that's how my family and I likes it :)
      You know I feel the same as you when I look at your dishes so it really means a lot to me that mine is doing the same to you :D
      Thanks once again for your sweet comment! :)

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  11. This is an excellent recipe!! I love PFC and now I don't even have to leave my house!!

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    1. That's great then! Please do give it a try and do let me know how you liked it :)
      Thanks very much! :)

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