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Tangy Temptations: Tangerine Chicken Recipe Chinese Flavours

A zesty and delightful twist can be found in the world of Chinese cuisine with the popular tangerine chicken recipe. For those who appreciate the tastes of China, tangerine chicken offers a unique and flavourful approach to traditional Chinese stir-fry dishes. Combining the sweetness of tangerine with the tanginess of the sauce creates a heavenly match when paired with tender chicken pieces.

A wok sizzles as tangerine chicken simmers in a sweet and tangy sauce. Fresh tangerines and green onions sit nearby, ready to be incorporated into the dish

Tangerine chicken is a dish that is easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. In this article, we will explore the origins of tangerine chicken, essential ingredients needed to make an authentic tangerine chicken recipe, cooking techniques to achieve the perfect tangerine chicken, serving suggestions and pairings, tips to make tangerine chicken a healthy option, and answer frequently asked questions. By the end of this article, you'll be able to make an amazing tangerine chicken dish that you'll want to make again and again.

Key Takeaways

  • Tangerine chicken is a delicious and flavourful take on classic Chinese stir-fry dishes.
  • To make an authentic tangerine chicken recipe, you'll need essential ingredients such as tangerine juice, soy sauce, and cooking wine.
  • Cooking techniques such as marinating the chicken and using a wok to stir-fry the ingredients are essential to achieve the perfect tangerine chicken dish.

Exploring the Origins of Tangerine Chicken

A chef grates fresh tangerine zest into a sizzling wok of golden, crispy chicken, infusing the air with a citrusy aroma

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've likely heard of tangerine chicken. This dish is a popular choice in many Chinese restaurants, and it's easy to see why. The combination of juicy chicken and tangy tangerine sauce is simply mouth-watering.

But where did this dish come from? The exact origins of tangerine chicken are unclear, but it's believed to have originated in the Hunan province of China. Hunan cuisine is known for its bold flavours and use of spices, and tangerine chicken is no exception.

The dish is typically made with chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices. It's then coated in cornstarch and fried until crispy. The tangerine sauce is made from fresh tangerine juice, sugar, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. The sauce is then poured over the crispy chicken, creating a delicious sweet and sour flavour.

Tangerine chicken has become a popular dish both in China and around the world. It's easy to see why – the combination of sweet and savoury flavours is simply irresistible. Whether you're a fan of Chinese cuisine or just looking to try something new, tangerine chicken is definitely worth a try.

Essential Ingredients for Authentic Tangerine Chicken

A wok sizzles with diced chicken, tangerine slices, and stir-fry sauce. Nearby are ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and green onions

If you want to cook an authentic tangerine chicken recipe Chinese-style, you need to make sure you have the right ingredients. Here are the essential ingredients you need to make a delicious tangerine chicken dish.

Proteins and Vegetables

The main ingredient for tangerine chicken is, of course, chicken. You will need chicken breast, cut into small pieces, to make this dish. You can also add some veggies to make the dish more nutritious and colourful. Bell pepper, green onion, and cauliflower are some of the vegetables that go well with tangerine chicken. You can also add some red bell pepper to add some colour to the dish.

Sauces and Seasonings

To make the tangerine chicken sauce, you will need soy sauce, ginger, garlic, tangerine peel, salt, pepper, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, chili paste, sugar, brown sugar, and honey. These ingredients will give the dish a sweet and savoury flavour that is characteristic of Chinese cuisine. You can adjust the amount of sugar and chili paste according to your taste.

Citrus Elements

Tangerine is the star of this dish, so you will need tangerine juice and dried tangerine peel to give the dish a citrusy flavour. You can also use orange juice and orange peel if you don't have tangerines. Soak the dried tangerine peel in water to soften it before using it in the recipe.

In summary, to make an authentic tangerine chicken recipe Chinese-style, you need chicken breast, veggies, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, tangerine peel, salt, pepper, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, chili paste, sugar, brown sugar, honey, tangerine juice, and dried tangerine peel. These ingredients will give the dish a sweet, savoury, and citrusy flavour that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Cooking Techniques for Perfect Tangerine Chicken

Searing diced chicken in a hot wok, adding tangerine zest and juice, and simmering with soy sauce and honey until glazed

If you want to make the perfect tangerine chicken, you need to follow some cooking techniques that will help you achieve the desired taste and texture. Here are some tips to help you cook the perfect tangerine chicken stir-fry.

Marinating and Prepping

Before you start cooking, marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, egg, and cornstarch. This will help tenderize the chicken and add flavour to it. Make sure to cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and remove any excess fat.

Soak the dried tangerine peel in water to soften it before adding it to the dish. This will help bring out the citrusy flavour and aroma.

Stir-Frying Fundamentals

Stir-frying is an essential cooking technique for making tangerine chicken. Heat your wok or pan over high heat and add peanut oil or sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for a few minutes until it is cooked through and browned.

Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, as this will cause the chicken to steam instead of sear. You may need to cook the chicken in batches to ensure it cooks evenly.

Finishing with a Glaze

To finish the dish, add a glaze made from tangerine juice, tamari, toasted sesame oil, sherry, and cornstarch. This will help thicken the sauce and add a sweet and tangy flavour to the dish.

Cook the chicken and glaze together for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened and coats the chicken. Serve hot, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

By following these cooking techniques, you can make the perfect tangerine chicken stir-fry that is packed with flavour and texture.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

A plate of tangerine chicken with steamed rice, garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. A side of stir-fried bok choy and a glass of chilled white wine

Accompanying Sides

Tangerine chicken is a versatile dish that pairs well with a variety of sides. For a classic Chinese meal, serve it with steamed rice or noodles. The sweet and tangy sauce of the tangerine chicken complements the neutral flavour of the rice or noodles. You can also pair it with stir-fried veggies, such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas. The veggies add a crunchy texture and freshness to the dish, making it more balanced and nutritious.

Garnishing for Flavour and Presentation

Garnishing tangerine chicken with sesame seeds, green onion, or fresh ginger adds extra flavour and visual appeal to the dish. Toasted sesame seeds add a nutty flavour and a crunchy texture, while green onion adds a fresh, oniony taste. Fresh ginger adds a spicy and earthy flavour that complements the sweetness of the tangerine sauce. You can also sprinkle some red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.

To serve tangerine chicken, place it on a large platter and garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, and fresh ginger. Serve the accompanying sides in separate bowls or plates. Invite your guests to help themselves and enjoy the delicious flavours and textures of this classic Chinese dish.

Tips for Making Tangerine Chicken a Healthy Choice

A sizzling wok cooks up succulent chunks of tangerine-infused chicken, surrounded by vibrant, fresh vegetables and aromatic spices

If you're looking for a quick and healthy meal, tangerine chicken is a great option. It's a delicious and nutritious recipe that you can easily make at home. Here are some tips for making tangerine chicken a healthy choice.

Use Lean Chicken

One of the best ways to make tangerine chicken healthy is to use lean chicken. You can use chicken breast or chicken thigh, but be sure to remove the skin and any visible fat. This will reduce the calorie and fat content of the dish.

Use Fresh Ingredients

Using fresh ingredients is always the best option when it comes to cooking. Fresh tangerines and other ingredients will give your tangerine chicken a vibrant and delicious flavour. Avoid using canned or processed ingredients as they often contain added sugars, salt, and preservatives.

Use Healthy Cooking Methods

When cooking tangerine chicken, it's important to use healthy cooking methods. Avoid deep-frying the chicken and instead opt for healthier cooking methods like stir-frying, grilling, or baking. These methods will help to reduce the amount of oil and fat in the dish.

Use Whole Grain Rice

Tangerine chicken is often served with rice. To make it a healthy meal, use whole grain rice instead of white rice. Whole grain rice is higher in fibre and nutrients, and will help to keep you feeling full for longer.

Limit the Sauce

Tangerine chicken is often served with a sweet and tangy sauce. While the sauce is delicious, it can also be high in calories and sugar. To make the dish healthier, limit the amount of sauce you use or make a healthier version by using natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

By following these tips, you can make tangerine chicken a healthy and delicious meal. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with tangerine chicken stir-frying, surrounded by colorful Chinese ingredients and cooking utensils

What's the secret to a crispy tangerine chicken?

The secret to a crispy tangerine chicken is to use cornstarch and egg white to coat the chicken before frying. This creates a light and crispy coating that is perfect for tangerine chicken.

How can I make a healthy version of tangerine chicken?

To make a healthy version of tangerine chicken, you can use skinless chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, and bake the chicken instead of frying it. You can also use a sugar substitute like honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. Additionally, you can add more vegetables to the recipe to increase the nutritional value.

What are the best accompaniments for tangerine chicken?

The best accompaniments for tangerine chicken are steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables. You can also serve it with a side of egg rolls or spring rolls.

Could you suggest a simple method for preparing tangerine chicken?

To prepare tangerine chicken, you will need to marinate the chicken in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. Then fry the chicken until it is crispy and golden brown. Finally, toss the chicken in a sweet and sour tangerine sauce made with tangerine juice, sugar, and vinegar.

How does tangerine chicken differ from the classic orange chicken?

Tangerine chicken and orange chicken are similar dishes, but tangerine chicken has a slightly sweeter and tangier flavour than orange chicken. Tangerine chicken is also made with tangerine peel, which gives it a unique flavour and aroma.

What are some creative uses for leftover tangerines in the kitchen?

Leftover tangerines can be used to make a variety of dishes, including tangerine sorbet, tangerine marmalade, and tangerine vinaigrette for salads. You can also use tangerines to make a refreshing and healthy smoothie.