Friday, April 19, 2013

Orange Chicken

Well... I liked this dish!  I thought my kids would like the orangey, sweet chicken.  But then I was reminded- they don't like anything other than cheese sandwiches.  I thought maybe my husband would like it.  But then I remembered he doesn't care for orange.  Or rice.  Bummer!  I will still make this anyway.  (That's one of the perks of being in charge of the cooking ha ha.)  

I tried my hand at a homemade soy free soy sauce recipe for this dish.  My overall impression: "well, it's not soy sauce"  (no duh, right?)  If you are used to soy sauce, which I am, it's not going to be "the same".  BUT considering it is a soy free soy sauce, it works pretty good.  Best if it is not the main ingredient in the recipe too.  Now that's I've worked my way around the soy sauce issue, using this substitute will open up a few more menu options-- even if I am the only one who likes them around here.

Orange Chicken
From Egg Free Bakery, adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2" cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy-free soy sauce* recipe below (or use regular soy sauce if you can)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
1 tablespoons green onion, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Cut chicken and pat dry.  Place in a large ziploc bag.  Combine flour, garlic powder and pepper. Add to chicken in bag and shake until chicken is well coated with flour mixture.  Heat oil in a large chicken.  Add chicken and fry until chicken is done. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine water, fresh orange juice, rice vinegar, "soy" sauce, orange zest and whisk over medium heat for a few minutes. Then stir in brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and green onion and let it come to a boil. Combine cornstarch with water and let it dissolve and add it to the sauce until thickened. Add half of the sauce to chicken and simmer together for 10 minutes or so.  Serve chicken over rice with extra sauce on the side, and topped with extra green onions for garnish.  

Soy Free Soy Sauce
slightly adapted by egg free bakery, originally from Cybele Pascal

1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger (or try 1/8 tsp or so to taste, powdered ginger in a pinch)
one turn of freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp table salt
Combine beef broth, cider vinegar, molasses, garlic, ginger, pepper and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then store tightly covered in the refrigerator for one week.  I would imagine you would be able to freeze this too.   

*Next time I make this I will freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray in 1 tbsp portions - then transfer to a freezer ziploc.  Then I can pull them out as needed in the future.

Shared on Allergy Free Wednesday

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