Monday, December 19, 2011

Orange Chicken

I have a soft spot for Americanized Chinese food.  When I was in college, they opened up a Panda Express in our student union.  I used to try to convince people to go with me to get Chinese food all the time because I loved their Panda Bowls with Orange Chicken and Fried Rice.

After college, I moved away from Panda Express to a town that didn't have one.  Recently, they started building one right outside our WalMart though, and as I watch it get built, the more I crave my favorite meal.  It still isn't meant to be opened for at least another month, and I was getting impatient, so I decided to try to make a copycat version.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
from Six Sisters' Stuff
3/4 lb of chicken breasts, cubed
1/3 cup flour
olive oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds)
4 tablespoons brown sugar

1) In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup.
2) Pour the flour in a small bowl.  Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.
3) Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.
4) After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
5) Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.

This dish has a lot of sugar in it, so it is quite sweet.  The orange flavor was good, and prominent, but I think the sweetness from the orange juice made this dish overly sweet.  I only made it through half my dish and I couldn't eat anymore.  I think that I would reduce the amount of sugar and add some additional ketchup in this recipe.  It is a good recipe that just needs a few adjustments to be great.  I can't wait until I can get the real thing at our new Panda Express.

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