Take Out Fake Out: Orange ChickenIt’s been a while since we shared a take out fake-out favorite here on the site – so I thought it was high time! I’ve made this orange chicken several times now over the past couple years, and we always really enjoy it. I hate deep-frying anything. Not that I don’t love fried foods, but it makes a mess, isn’t figure friendly, and the smell lingers in the air for hours. But, once in a blue moon it’s a nice treat that we all look forward to.

At first I was leery of the cornstarch batter. But, I’ll tell you – it’s totally the secret of the Chinese restaurants. Browns and crisps up beautifully, and it stays crispy. Even after spending some time in the oven while I fried the rest of the chicken, and saucing – it was still nice and crunchy.

And the sauce? Fresh orange juice and zest, a little tang from rice wine vinegar, and a spicy kick from cayenne makes for a perfect combination. I actually like to use whole dried small red peppers, but I couldn’t find any – so cayenne works in a pinch (heh, in a pinch – no pun intended). I’m looking forward to trying the sauce in other applications as well. I think it would be a fabulous basting sauce for chicken or pork on the grill – which we’ve been firing up a lot lately.

So let’s give your delivery guy a rest, and make this Chinese favorite in your own kitchen tonight!