Mandarin Orange Chicken: Recipe #147

When you can’t get out to a Chinese restaurant, or want a healthier alternative made fresh in your kitchen, try this orange chicken! Kids love it too, and everyone went back for second or third helpings. The orange sauce is delicious. We served it in bowls on a bed of rice and stir-fried cabbage.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($11.50 total to serve 5 people)

Orange sauce:
1 cup orange juice – $0.75
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.54
1/4 cup soy sauce – $0.40
1/2 tsp ginger – $0.14
1/2 tsp garlic powder – $0.14
1 tbsp cornstarch – $0.10

3 large chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized chunks – $6.54
3 eggs, beaten – $0.87
2/3 cup flour – $0.10
2/3 cup cornstarch – $1.20
1/2 cup canola oil for frying in batches – $0.37

Directions for Mandarin Orange Chicken

1. Prepare your ingredients. In a medium pot, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to medium low heat and simmer for several minutes, stirring frequently, until it gets nice and thick. Turn down to low and move on to the chicken.

Put the eggs in one bowl and the flour and cornstarch mixture in another bowl. Working in batches, dip several chunks of chicken into the egg mixture, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the flour mixture. Cover them in flour and put on a plate to be ready to cook.

2. Cook the chicken. Pour 1/3 of the canola oil into a large pan and turn it up to high heat, almost maximum but not so hot as to make the oil smoke. Drop 1/3 of the floured chicken into the oil and cook it for several minutes, turning the pieces over frequently, until they are nice and golden on the outside and you can cut into one without seeing any pink inside.

Repeat this process until all the chicken is cooked, then return all the chicken to the pan and pour the sauce over top. Mix well.

3. Serve in individual bowls over rice, stir-fried vegetables, or noodles. Mandarin orange chicken is a crispy, juicy, sweet and savory, delicious treat for the whole family!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 13/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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