Orange chicken is a delicious dish with Asian flavor originating in Chinese cuisine. It combines a series of ingredients that may look a bit exotic to westerners who are not used to enjoy their chicken with a fresh orange flavor.
Still, it is a healthy (lots of vitamin C) and really easy to make using the Instant Pot!
Here are some tips to help you understand the steps better and get a perfect meal.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken?
I have received this question for other recipes that incorporate chicken, so I thought it’s best to cover it here as well. The answer is yes, you can use frozen chicken.
However, the recipe asks for small cubes of chicken breast, so there are two options here. You either chop the chicken and freeze it like this to be used at a later date, or you use the Instant Pot to cook the frozen chicken first.
Can I use chicken tights?
Yes you can. Keep in mind that it’s best to use chicken breast, but you can replace it with chicken tights if you’re in a pinch.
How to Zest an Orange?
In my book, zesting an orange is rather easy. But, if you’ve never done it, I should start by saying that the zest is the colored part of an orange’s peel.
It’s important to understand that you don’t need to take the yellow or white part of the peel when you’re zesting – just the orange part!
Now, you can use a grater, a paring knife, or a potato peeler, but if you want the zest to integrate nicely into the food (which is the case now) I recommend using a fine grater. If you want longer strips (like for decoration purposes), a knife or a potato peeler are better choices.
What can I do if I don’t have oranges?
In the case you don’t have fresh oranges laying around, you can always use some substitutes such as dried zest (from a store or home-made), orange extract, or grated candied peel.
Do I have do use cornstarch?
As you can see from the recipe, the sauce should have a nice, smooth, thick texture. To get there, you need to add a thickening agent. This is where the cornstarch comes in.
But if you don’t have cornstarch or don’t want to use it, it’s fine.
If you don’t have cornstarch, you can always use flour. You will need to use 2 tbsp of flour instead of 1 tbsp of cornstarch, as cornstarch is pure starch which has twice the thickening power of flour.
To make sure there won’t be any lumps, it’s best to mix the flour with a bit of cool liquid before you add it to the sauce. In this case, you can use water or orange juice. 1:1 ratio is enough. So 1 tbsp of liquid for 1 tbsp of flour.
How to add cornstarch?
Can I use store-bought orange juice?
It’s best to use fresh oranges to make the juice, but the recipe also works with store-bought orange juice.
Can I use store-bought orange chicken sauce?
You can buy orange chicken sauce at the store, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The sauce you make at home is ten times more delicious and healthier!
- You also have the option to mix the boiled chicken breast with the sauce (skip the frying step). The result will be less crispy and maybe some of the flavors will be lost, but it’s a way to avoid the frying (for health purposes).
- A few minutes before the chicken is fully cooked, it’s best to add all the sauce ingredients (without the thickening agent) in a separate bowl and stir everything together. Then, you should add the mixture to the fried chicken.
Also, don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh parsley or chives and some orange zest. The effect will be astonishing!
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 orange zested
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- Pour oil in the Instant Pot and press “Saute”.
- Add chicken cubes and cook for 5 minutes on "saute", until they brown on each side.
- Add orange juice, tomato sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine, garlic and orange zest and stir.
- Close the lid and cook at high pressure for about 5 minutes.
- Once done, do a quick pressure release.
- Open the lid and press “Saute” again.
- Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1 tbsp of water, add it to the sauce and stir.
- If the chicken has dried too much, add some more orange juice.
- Cook for 2 minutes on "saute", until the sauce has reached the desired texture with no lumps.
- Enjoy! You can serve it with rice and sprinkle with fresh parsley on top.