Sesame Orange Chicken

I’ve come a long way since the days of living in the city and ordering in delivery. I used to be scared of touching raw meats, but I got over that hurdle and found my place in the kitchen. Recently, it was my turn to host dinner for my in-laws. My mother in law never fails to impress us with her Sunday dinners. From a spread of appetizers to gourmet fresh unique meals, we always leave satisfied.

I wanted to make an easy dish that wouldn’t be time consuming considering I’m pregnant with a toddler, tasty, and simple. The last time we all ordered in Chinese delivery, it was a huge disappointment, so I decided to attempt a healthy version on Sesame Orange chicken.

It was so easy to make and flavorful I had to share. It took less time to make than waiting for takeout, and it was quite tasty!

Ingredients
2 medium chicken breasts, cut into small cubes (about 1 inch by 1 inch)
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all purpose flour (substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch for gluten-free option)
a pinch each of sea salt and pepper (optional)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
sesame seeds and/or thinly sliced green onions for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken breast cubes to a medium bowl along with the cornstarch and flour (and salt and pepper, if using). Stir to coat. Set aside.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and while it’s heating whisk together the orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and cornstarch until well combined. Set aside.

  3. Once the skillet has heated, add the oils and then the chicken coated in the cornstarch and flour.

  4. Brown the chicken in the skillet until each side is crispy and golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.

  5. Pour the orange juice mixture over the chicken in the hot skillet and toss the chicken in the sauce until it thickens.

  6. Serve over rice with a side of steamed veggies.

  7. Garnish with sliced green onions or sesame seeds (if desired).

Recipe Notes

Feel free to use more cornstarch in place of the all purpose flour if you stick to a gluten-free diet. The added flour helps the chicken get extra crispy, but it’s not necessary.

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Even my husband approves!

Kickass Authentic Mapo Tofo

Ever since traveling to China, I’ve been addicted to my husband’s favorite dish. Some restaurants didn’t prepare it the same way I had experienced in China, so I saught out to find how it was made. I’m sure it might now be exactly how it’s done there, but it damn close and delicious!

Ingredients

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  • 1 cup of chicken broth stock
  • Few tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • Scallions
  • Garlic fresh
  • Firm Tofu
  • Minced pork (about 1/2 a cup)
  • Ginger fresh
  • Red Palm seed oil (optional
  • Red Chilli oil about 3-6 Tablespoons
  • Chinese 5 spice 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Hot peppers, red or green minced up
  • Doubanjiang (豆瓣酱), also known as spicy fermented bean paste and broad bean sauce, is the most important ingredient in this dish. Try to find “Pixian Broad Bean Sauce” at an Asian market. *I went to my Chinese Restaurant and paid for some of their supply. It came in a form of seed like hard pieces/balls. To infuse, I added about a Tablespoon to my Red chili oil.

The art to making a killer Mapo Tofu is all in slicing and dicing and much multi tasking in the kitchen. I first prepare by setting out all my ingredients in groups that go together. In the mean time you can have some white rice/Jasmine/ Basmati to counter balance the spicy of the dish cooking.

  1. Chop off the white ends of the scallions into tiny pieces. Chop up a few cloves of garlic, the hot peppers and ginger into fine pieces. Satay them in a light olive oil until soft and set aside.
  2. Brown/cook the minced pork. Break it up in the pan into fine pieces. Add the white pepper to your pork at this time.
  3. Blot your tofu with a towel to absorb the moisture and water. Cut it into cubes then softly fry for a few minutes to get warm/toasty.
  4. In a small fry pan, have your red chili oil slowly simmer with the spicy bean and five spice.
  5. Add the chicken stock to your tofu. Add the cornstarch to thicken. Add Red palm oil for color.
  6. Add the satayed vegetables, chop up green scallion tops and add them, as well as the pork, and the chili oil that is infused.
  7. Sprinkle on some flakes of red chili and voila!

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Your Mapo Tofu Dish is complete and ready for you to devour. Below is one of my latest batches. I don’t use exact measurements when cooking; I kind of toss in a dash of what I feel needs more or less in regards to the ingredients. You can put your Tofu mix on top of the rice, or on the side. A glass of milk will help with the spicy burn if it’s too much to handle. This is a great food for flu season!