Orange chicken is a very popular cuisine in North American Chinese restaurants. It is North America’s version of the famous Chinese cuisine from Hunan Province, China. It is made from mixing fried small-chewable pieces of dredged boneless skinless chicken breast with orange juice, vinegar, garlic, and other preferred spices.
Have you ever visited a Chinese restaurant and saw people munching on a plate of orange chicken but you’re not sure about how the combination of fried chicken mixed with orange sauce would affect your taste bud? Read through this article to clear your doubts.
What does orange chicken taste like? Orange chicken has a succulent, sticky, fried, sweet, and crispy taste which is enhanced when mixed with a tangy, sweet, and tasty orange juice. It is an irresistible sweet Chinese dish.
Chewing a piece of orange chicken is similar to eating pork meat. The food is very easy to make at home and its small chewable sizes make eating or cooking with it a very easy task.
Although it is considered a Chinese dish, it is rarely found in restaurants in China. The perfect crispy and sweet taste of the dish combined with the distinctly complex flavors of its ingredients is exceptional!
Drown your skepticism and order that plate of orange chicken on your next visit to a Chinese restaurant.
Nutritional Benefits of Orange Chicken
Considering that orange chicken is prepared using minimal ingredients, its sweetness and nutritional benefits aren’t reduced. It contains highly nutritious and easily digested nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B12, Thiamin, choline, potassium, iron, zinc, carotenoids, flavonoids, proteins, carbs, citric acid, and protein.
The protein content of the dish does a lot of benefits to the human immune and hormonal system. It helps build and repair body tissues and fosters the growth of healthy enzymes and hormones. It also serves as an integral part of the building of strong bones, cartilage, and muscles that assist in defending the body against chronic diseases.
The tossing of the chicken in orange juice makes the dish a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against the risk of getting chronic conditions like heart diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Its vitamin B12 and choline together promote brain development in children and aid the cognitive performance of older folks.
Eating orange chicken is a natural way of managing and maintaining reasonable body weight. The protein makes us feel fuller, despite eating a very small amount. A reasonable body weight eliminates the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and high triglyceride levels.
Culinary Uses of Orange Chicken
There are numerous ways you can enjoy this sensational food and ways it can be added to dishes to satisfy our dietary needs. The chicken can be fried, steamed, baked, or roasted before dipping it in an orange juice or sauce.
Orange chicken can be eaten alone as a snack with a bottle of soda, as an appetizer, and as a main dish served with steamed rice, egg fried rice, and stir-fry veggies for thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, Easter brunch, or picnic.
If you don’t love the grease, mess, and the effect of burning yourself with splattering oil while frying, you can bake the chewable size. To bake the chicken, you would need to finely cut small sizes of boneless chicken, add flour, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and the orange juice or source to prepare it.
Eating your vegetables alone can become tiring over time. You can make it enjoyable and worthwhile by adding orange chicken pieces to it to improve the taste. It also goes perfectly well with Asian dishes like cauliflower wings, crispy duck and pancake, Chinese spare ribs, and Asian mushroom.
Where Did Orange Chicken Originate From? How Do You Procure It?
The Chinese-originated dish is one of the most creative foods over the past 30 years and is mostly found in North American Chinese Restaurants. In 1987, Andy Kao claimed to be the founder of the Chinese-American dish recipe in Hawaii.
There are controversies as to the origin of this great food. Some find it as a variation of General Tso’s Chicken in America while some believe it is the main dish found in the heart of China.
In present days, the dish is popular in the United States and other regions where their government accepts the establishment of Chinese restaurants. It can be purchased at the restaurant, the nearest supermarket, or convenience store, or prepared at home. To prepare it, you need minimal ingredients and a stress-free cooking procedure.
Homemade orange chicken can be prepared by mixing and tossing your chopped piece of boneless chicken in an egg before dredging it in flour. Pour the pieces in hot oil and allow it to fry until it becomes crispy and golden.
You can then toss it in a pre-mixed bowl of orange sauce, water, cornstarch, pepper, and onion. Leftover chicken and the glaze sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months and still retain their sweetness.
Is Orange Chicken Spicy?
Compared to other recipes spawned off from the dish, orange chicken is not spicy hot and can be easily eaten. It usually has a light-sweet, sour and savory taste. It is not spicy-hot because dried red chilies are not commonly or heavily used while preparing the dish. Its ingredients are dried peel, zest, and juicy.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Orange Chicken
- Panda Express, the Chinese food restaurant famous for its orange chicken sells about 70 million pounds of the food yearly.
- Panda Express sells more than 285,000 pieces of orange chicken every day.
- In the Hollywood Television series, The Big Bang Theory, the lead actor, Sheldon Cooper’s favorite Chinese food was orange chicken.