Sunday, February 19, 2017

Orange-Ginger Chicken: Duplicate your favorite take-out joints thick and succulent sauce at home

I have a weakness for saucy dishes. Sauce improves everything! Particularly chicken dishes, that are either pan-fried, stir-fried or baked in the oven, because who doesn't like tender pieces of cooked chicken coated in a sweet and succulent sauce?

The good news is, with the right combination of ingredients and steps, there is nothing stopping you from preparing a sauce in your own kitchen that tastes as good as what you get from your favorite take-out joint. 

Spooning orange-ginger sauce over tender oven-baked chicken

The ingredient's you will need to make the orange-ginger sauce for this tender chicken dish are available in most supermarkets. And we'll borrow a pan-sauce technique from my online cooking class to thicken the sauce. 

Instead of thickening the sauce with a slurry of cornstarch and water, we'll use two cubes of butter that are lightly coated with cornstarch.

It's just enough cornstarch to thicken the sauce after it has reduced, and the butter adds a rich flavor that will rival what the take-out place makes around the corner!

Orange Ginger Chicken topped with sauce and chopped green onions

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Orange-Ginger Chicken
Tender oven-baked chicken coated in a sweet and succulent orange-ginger sauce!

MAKES: 8 pieces
HANDS-ON TIME: 10 to 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes in the oven

  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (the fake stuff won't work. Omit if you don't have the pure stuff)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • pinch, or two, crushed red pepper chili flakes
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (cut into two equal sized cubes)
  • cornstarch
  • chopped green onions (to garnish)


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together orange juice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, marmalade, syrup, garlic, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Set aside. In a small bowl, add just enough cornstarch to cover the bottom of the bowl. Add butter cubes. Toss butter cubes to coat all sides with cornstarch. Set aside.

2. Trim any excess fat off the chicken thighs then arrange in a single layer in a deep casserole dish. Pour the sauce over chicken thighs. Turn chicken thighs to coat both sides. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 F / 175 C oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from oven.

3. Pour all the remaining sauce from the casserole dish into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, then cook and stir until sauce reduces by half. Add butter that has been dusted in cornstarch. Stir until butter has melted and sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from heat (the sauce will continue to thicken). Spoon sauce over cooked chicken and top with chopped green onions.

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Brent Garell from Cookapalooza

Hi I'm Brent! The recipes you will find on this blog, and in my weekly updates, are easy-to-make dinners my family and I have enjoyed. You'll also find favorite weekend recipes, along with a few greatest hits from my cookbook - and some boiled down wisdom on how to save yourself time when cooking.   

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