It’s National Chop Stick Day

I love the idea of eating with chop sticks, but the truth of the matter is I am not very good at it. I think that, for me, chop sticks would make a great diet tool. It would take me an entire day to eat a bowl of rice!

In our family, we have a chop stick tradition. It doesn’t matter if we are serving Chinese at home or eating out, that first bite is always with chop sticks. After that, forks and spoons and whatever else is fine.

If the chicken in the recipe seems familiar, you are right – I’ve shared it before. The chicken is the same as my Sweet and Sour Chicken. How can that be? Simple – the sauce is all that needs to change. The Sweet and Sour isn’t in the chicken, it’s in the sauce. Just as the Orange in this dish isn’t in the chicken, it’s in the sauce. You could use the same method for the chicken to create Lemon Chicken or General Tsao’s Chicken. This was a revelation I had while dining at one of our favorite Chinese Restaurants.  I had ordered the Lemon Chicken, Kiddo had the Orange Chicken. Both had the same chicken, just different sauces. It was like a light came on – how simple!

So get your chop sticks ready – we’re going to whip up a batch of awesome Orange Chicken with Sticky Rice.

Pan Fried Orange Chicken with Sticky Rice
Orange Sauce
1 Orange, zested
1/2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1-1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
2-1/2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes or more to taste
Dash or 2 Ghost Pepper Sauce
4 tablespoons Cornstarch
3 tablespoons Chicken Stock

Zest the orange, set aside. Peel and finely garlic, set aside.

In a large saucepan combine 1-1/2 cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Blend well over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Taste and increase “spice” as desired with more pepper flakes or Ghost Pepper Sauce. Bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with chicken stock, mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce, simmer and stir until it thickens. Hold sauce on the stove-top over low heat.

Pan-Fried Chicken
2-1/2 cups Flour, Self-rising
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
1 whole Egg
4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 cups Water, more if necessary
2 large boneless Chicken Breast
Vegetable Oil for frying
Green Onions for garnish

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. Place wire racks inside each sheet. One will hold chicken before frying, the other to hold chicken once fried. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place one of the baking sheets inside the oven as it heats.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and white pepper. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk egg with vegetable oil. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and stir to blend. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time and blend with a fork to create a thick batter. Set aside and let rest.

Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Lay breasts on a cutting board and cut into 1-inch chunks.

Place chicken pieces into the batter. Stir to get all the chicken pieces well coated. Lift pieces from the batter and place on wire rack to hold before frying. Let the chicken pieces rest while the oil heats.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Oil should be about 2 inches deep.

Once the oil is ready, gently drop battered chicken into the pan to fry. Work in batches for even cooking and a more consistent temperature. DO NOT overcrowd the pan or allow pieces to touch while frying. Fry for about 5 minutes, turn or roll over and continue to fry another 5 minutes, until pieces are golden and puffy. Use a slotted spoon or spider to lift chicken pieces from the oil. Spread fried pieces out on the heated rack in the oven.

Repeat until all the chicken has been fried.

Note: Chicken can be held in the warm oven until ready to serve, about 15 or 20 minutes to finalize anything needed.

To serve, place chicken in a large serving serving. Pour sauce over chicken and toss coat.

Snip green parts of green onions over chicken to garnish. Serve and enjoy.

Rice For Serving
1-1/2 cups uncooked White Rice
1-1/4 cups Water
Green Onion, garnish if desired

Place rice and water in the bowl of your steamer. Place steamer over the well of water filled to the max-level.

Let the rice soak for about 30 minutes, then set to seam for 35 minutes.

If desired, while the rice cooks, chop some green onion for garnish.

To serve rice with the chicken: Place a scoop of rice in the center of a plate or bowl. Top with chicken, garnish with additional green onion if desired.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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