I love orange chicken from asian restaraunts. Like, love it. Unfortunately, I'm also allergic to soy which is pretty much guaranteed to be in everything they make, if even in the form of soy sauce. So I jumped when I saw this recipe...
in a crockpot...
made with frozen oj concentrate...
Yes, please! Sounds right up my alley!
Of course I had to change the recipe a bit, but overall... I'm ecstatic to have a nice substitute for the food I crave without worrying about what strange ingredients are being added.
3 big handfuls of baby carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 or 5 frozen chicken breasts
3 garlic cloves, pressed (powder is fine, about 1 tsp)
1 inch fresh ginger root, finely diced (powder is fine, about 1 tsp)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 - 12oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate
2 TBS cornstarch (optional)
3 green onions (scallions), sliced
*** This would be even better with a couple TBS of soy sauce, if you can eat it.***
First, put all the sliced/chopped carrots on the bottom of your crockpot.
Then add the chopped peppers on top of that.
And the frozen chicken breasts on that. Then the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, brown sugar, pepper flakes, and top it all off with the orange juice concentrate.
Cook on high for 6 hours. (Or high for an hour and then low for about 8-10.)
About an hour or so before you're ready to eat, take out a couple forks and sort of "shred" the chicken. Not fully shredding, just breaking it up into more bite sized pieces, also letting the sauce cook through more deeply. Stir and let cook for the last hour like that.
This step is totally optional.
Using a slotted spoon, take out all the chicken and veggies... and reserve it in a large bowl.
That leaves the "broth" in the crockpot. And it's runny like broth. Delicious, but runny.
I wanted my sauce to be more... saucy.
So in a seperate cup, mix 2-3 TBS of cornstarch with the same amount of cold water. Mix completely and add to the liquid. Stir it around every few minutes until it thickens.
It will be more like gravy than like the see-through gooey sauce you're used to, but I like it better because it doesn't feel so "chemical." Also it took my crockpot about 15 minutes on high, stirring frequently, to get it to the desired thickness. I realized it would've been easier to just boil it over the stove, but then I'd just have another pot to clean... not worth it. :) Just plan on doing this part while your rice cooks.
Once your liquid is thick enough for you, add the chicken and vegetables back to the crockpot and toss to coat.
Serve over rice with sliced green onions for garnish.
One more note... I loved it and so did my husband. My kids didn't appreciate all the ginger that I like. So if you have kids, cut the amount of ginger down by half or more and they'll love it.