Our family is a big fan of Asian cuisine. While I personally prefer Japanese and Thai food, my kids love traditional Chinese food. One of their absolute favorite dishes is Orange Chicken. According to my 15 year old son, he could eat it every day.
Earlier this week, in the midst of my busy day he walked to the kitchen saying “I could really go for some orange chicken right now”…I got up, pulled a whole chicken from the fridge and said “Here, go make it,” expecting he would ponder on it, realize this was not a simple dish to make, and perhaps change his mind to make a simpler dish instead. I continued with my work while he got online to learn how to make orange chicken. My kids and I cook every day, and we love experimenting with different cuisines, but we had never made orange chicken before. Marko is a fairly good chef, but this surly was out of his domain.
“Let him try,” I was thinking to myself, “this will keep him busy long enough for me to finish my work”. Not for a moment did I believe I would be enjoying amazing orange chicken for dinner that night.
While Marko was busy mixing and measuring, I would occasionally glance into the kitchen, pleased and grateful he remained occupied and engaged in his cooking experiment while I worked. Watching his interest and dedication made me very happy. After all, keeping kids away from electronic devices and engaging them in everyday home activities is not a small task…After a little while, I was summoned to kitchen to try his sweet and sour sauce…Wow!!…To my surprise, the sauce was great! Okay, so he got the sauce down, but can he get the rest of the dish right?
I am ashamed to admit that I doubted him and his cooking skills to deliver such a dish. After all, I never made orange chicken before, so how could he know if I did not teach him. On top of that, this dish took time and I was convinced that at some point Marko would give up realizing this will take too long or perhaps was to0 complicated…I was so wrong.
Besides enjoying an amazingly delicious dinner, I also learned something very important. For every parent, and every child there comes a point and time when a parent simply needs to trust their kids and let go of the outcome. The trick is to feel when the time is right, and to have enough confidence in our kids to let them go forth and learn for themselves. And so here we are, with Marko’s amazingly simple and delicious dish which we now wish to share with you and your family. There are a number of Orange Chicken recipes online. This is our own version.
- in a medium pot, add orange juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes. Heat for few minuets.
- In separate dish, whisk 11/2 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water to form a paste.
- Add to orange sauce and whisk together. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add orange zest. Set aside.
- Place flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and mix.
- Whisk eggs and pinch of salt in a separate dish.
- Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture and then flour mixture. Place on plate.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Make sure you have at least 2-3 inch of oil in the pot.
- Cook for 1-2 min. turning often until golden brown. Toss chicken with orange sauce.
- Sprinkle with chopped green onions, roasted sesame seeds and orange zest before serving.