Orange Chicken  originated in the Hunan province of China and is a traditional dish which has now become popular in the United States. In Asia the dish is known as Old Peel Chicken due to the fact that it is made using diced dried orange or tangerine peel which is still popular today in Asia however the dish has been changed to entertain different pallets of people in other countries.  Dried peel is not used as they prefer to use fresh peel and even the juice, They also add sugar which creates a much sweeter version of a classic dish. The original recipe is barely known outside of Asia and those who do know it have probably had is passed down through the generations in much the same way Chinese remedies are passed on. Orange Chicken recipes differ depending on personal taste and each person will adapt it to their own preference. Later i'll provide a step by step guide on how to make this delicious dish.

So what does it taste like, Believe it or not it's more than just orange, Its a sweet sticky glazed bite sized pieces of meat which can be quiet crispy you can taste the chicken and the orange blending together. You can tell by the appearance of the individual little golden nuggets coated in that sweet sticky glaze it's instantly recognizable. Traditional Chinese medicines use the dried peel of oranges known as Chen - PI , to treat ailments including Diarrhea . constipation, nausea, peptic ulcers and indigestion. It is a great source of vitamin c and research also shows antioxidant properties. Some also believe it can be used as an aphrodisiac as well as a contraceptive for women. The Chen-Pi is used is to normalize the flow of qi , which is the term for life force in traditional Chinese medicine. Dried peel from different varieties of oranges are used to provide the different treatments, check out this website for more information.

Orange Chicken

As you know these days there are many type of orange around all of which the peel and juice would add slightly different flavors. I did a bit of research and found that in Hunan where the dish originated they grow satsuma's so i assume as this is an old recipe they probably used these to make the dish. There are dishes which are similar for example mandarin chicken, however they are different in the cooking methods and ingredients used. Mandorin chicken originates from Beijing and is grilled chicken covered in a mandarin sauce. Orange chicken is a popular dish in a lot of countries with their own take on this classic tasty dish. In Spain it's know as Pollo a la Naranja - there they cook the whole chicken breast instead of slicing it. In France it's known as chicken A L'Orange - a twist on the classic Duck a L'Orange dish but using chicken. In Russia known as orange marmalade chicken - the dish is cooked by baking chicken in foil coated with orange marmalade. In Australia - spiced orange chicken is a one pot roasted dish. They make it using sweet navel oranges. People who know the dish have taken it to different parts of the world and if you can't get the original Chinese orange chicken, you'll still get a tasty adapted citrus dish.